Last month, Michigan resident Brian Schmitt was on the hunt for fallen antlers when he spied something unusual…and morbid. Laying on the ground were not the tell-tale points of a discarded rack, but instead the bone white of a human skull. According to WDIV, Schmitt snapped a picture of the skull and immediately brought the remains to the Brownstown Township Police Department.

“It’s amazing what you find in the woods if you pay attention,” Schmitt told WDIV. “It was really unforeseen that I would look down and see a skull, a human skull.”

As it turns out, the skull is a pivotal clue in the case of missing 49-year-old Lizzie Mae Collier-Sweet. The Brownstown woman had been missing for six years and extensive searches by the authorities have turned up nothing. Collier-Sweet disappeared after a fire consumed her home in 2007 and police placed their suspicions on her husband, Roger Sweet. Just a few months later, Roger Sweet pled no contest to the murder charge, and was convicted for the slaying of another woman: his first wife Marlene Sweet. When police questioned Sweet as to the whereabouts of his wife’s body, he told them she was probably in the woods.

Now six years later, Schmitt guided authorities back to the site of the find where the rest of Lizzie Sweet’s remains were recovered. Some of the victim’s belongings were also found and the family has been notified.

“If, in fact, there is closure to this case, I really feel confident that the family is going to get some healing and be able to rest a little easier,” Schmitt said.

Louise Collier, sister of the deceased, says that while the discovery brings relief, it also brings renewed grief.

Image from Arnaud DG (hern42) on the flickr Creative Commons

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