DEKALB COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department said remains belonging to a man who disappeared nearly 17 months ago have been identified.

Officials said 29-year-old Matthew Braswell went missing on Dec. 17, 2021, after he ran away from the scene of a crash on Ponder Road off Cookeville Highway.

About 15 months later, on March 9, the sheriff’s department said a human skull was discovered on Center Lake Hill, approximately 1.6 aerial miles from where Braswell was last seen.

According to DeKalb County Sheriff Patrick Ray, that skull has since been identified as Braswell’s.

“The skull was sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Nashville, along with other bones, after they were found. The Medical Examiner’s Office sent the skull to another lab for DNA testing. One of my Detectives retrieved DNA from Braswell’s mother to compare to the DNA in the teeth of the skull. The lab confirmed the skull was that of Matthew Braswell,” Ray said in a statement shared with News 2 on Friday, May 12.

During a follow-up visual search in the same area on March 15, authorities reportedly discovered more evidence, including a bone, as well as a shoe and sock that were consistent with what Braswell was last seen wearing.

Then, on April 17, officials said they found additional remains, keys, and clothing through an expanded search effort in the same area.

“During that discovery on April 17 we found a scapula (shoulder blade) and a mandible (jawbone),” the sheriff stated. “We also found a portion of a pair of blue jean denim shorts fitting the description that Braswell was wearing and a key lanyard with keys on it. An area of about 10 acres was searched and the terrain was very rough making the effort very difficult.”

According to Ray, the cause of Braswell’s death has not been determined.