Updated: Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012, 8:52 AM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012, 8:52 AM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - More than 30 years after a young Albuquerque man simply vanished, investigators have finally solved half the mystery.
They know where his life likely came to an end, near the Santa Fe Ski Basin. Now they want to know how he died.
August 17, 1981, Ernest Salazar's boss reported the Albuquerque man was missing. A month later, a sheriff's deputy found his motorcycle at the Santa Fe ski basin. Then Salazar's trail went cold. There were no clues to what happened to him until 2007.
A group of hikers in Hyde Park just down from the ski basin, came across something no one expected.
"Hikers were up there hiking on the trail and came across some bones that kinda looked like human bones. They contacted law enforcement," said State Police Lt. Robert McDonald.
State Police searched the area and took pictures of the bones along with anything else unusual. They found the bones, a torn up sleeping bag and a marble slab with writing on it.
The FBI took the bones to a lab to determine how old they were. At that time, they still did not know who they belonged to. Police searched old cases, looking for anyone who may have been missing in the area.
They came across the Salazar case. Officers took DNA from his parents. Then, this July police say there was a match. Thirty one years after he disappeared, police now know they have identified his remains. Now they want to figure out how died.
Next week, APD Missing Person/Cold Case detectives and the FBI will search the area for more clues.
The Salazar family told KRQE News 13 they did not want to talk about the case.Â