Relatives of 58-year-old Kelvin Ballantyne, who was last seen in March, remain hopeful that he is alive even after skeletal remains were found close to where he lived in Lambeau, Tobago on Sunday.
However, residents said the clothing and slippers found near the bones looked like Ballantyne's.
They said Ballantyne, also known as "Redman" and "Junior" was an electrician, approximately six feet, three inches tall and weighed approximately 220 pounds.
Relatives have been trying to find him but calls to his cellular phone went unanswered.
Ballantyne, who was originally from Trinidad but relocated to Tobago over 30 years ago, was last seen leaving his apartment at Old Lambeau Road about four months ago. He was described as being well known in the area and friendly, but people said he "seemed to be off lately and moving strange."
On Monday, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Tobago William Nurse said the remains were in an advanced state of decomposition and an autopsy is expected to be done by pathologist Dr Eslyn McDonald-Burris.
“We are hoping that she can tell us the possible cause of death, how long that person might have died and whether we can get the racial origin and gender.”
Newsday contacted Ballantyne’s sister Cindy Noel who said she has been contacted by police.
“They said they found a skull and some bones, but they could not say if it was him or not," Noel said.
"They said they would have to wait on the report from the forensic pathologist.”
Noel described her brother as “one of the most well-known people in Lambeau, and maybe even across the island because of his job.”
She said relatives believe her brother may have been experiencing depression as he was acting strangely and withdrawn prior to his disappearance. However, she said while the family would like closure, she remains hopeful that he is found alive and well.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one villager called for an “intervention.” Describing the village as “heavy”, he said the community needs prayers and counselling as it has become a hotspot over the last few years.
“Within recent times Lambeau just heavy with death and sorrow. We need some priests to come in and pray and put some of these wandering souls to rest.”
The resident said Lambeau is developing a reputation as being notorious “for finding dead bodies.”