A human skull was found west of MacDonald Pass last week.

Powell County Sheriff Scott Howard said Monday that the skull, found Wednesday near the intersection of U.S. Route 12 and Mullan Pass Road, probably dates to a death within the last few years.

“There was a skull found and other human remains found,” Howard said Monday.

He declined to disclose further details, saying the investigation is ongoing. Lewis and Clark Undersheriff David Rau said the sheriff’s office is assisting Powell County with the investigation.

Authorities would not say whether they believe the skull is related to the death of John “Mike” Crites, a Birdseye-area man whose remains, with unspecified body parts missing, were found about a year ago just a few miles away at MacDonald Pass.

Crites, who was involved in an ongoing dispute with neighbors over roads and land access, disappeared around June 26, 2011.

His death is under investigation as a murder.

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