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Human skeletal remains were found in an abandoned well behind this house in Dresden, Ont., on Wednesday afternoon. ((Jim Lagogianes/CBC))

The discovery of a human skeleton in an abandoned well in Dresden, Ont., has police examining the mysterious disappearance of a man more than 40 years ago.

A man doing renovations to a home on Sydenham Street discovered an abandoned well beneath an old deck.

When he removed some of the boards covering the well, he looked inside and saw bones.

Chatham-Kent police later confirmed the skeletal remains are human, but that it would take two days to remove the skeleton from the well, and several weeks to determine how old the bones are and whether they are those of a male or female.

But people who live in the town, approximately 30 kilometres north of the city of Chatham in southwestern Ontario, suspect they know whose remains are in the well.

Missing bachelor lived nearby

Clint Brown was a bachelor in the area who went missing in the early 1960s.

"Mr. Brown lived in a house just up the road here in a trailer and he disappeared," said Marty Zaruna.

'It's weird, very strange. It's too bad, hopefully it's that fellow who went missing years ago.'—Amber Emery, neighbour

"He went to his doctor, … Dr. Gibbs, and that was last time he was seen," said Marie Cartier, who also lives in the area.

Brown's home was about 400 metres from the well, which is four metres deep, 2.5 metres across and filled with one metre of water.

Home rented for past 40 years

Police have a long list of people they want to talk to about what might have happened.

"Certainly, we're treating this as a suspicious case," said Const. Michael Pearce.

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Police said it would take two days to carefully remove the skeleton from the well, which is four metres deep and 2.5 metres wide. ((Jim Lagogianes/CBC))

The home has been a rental property for the last 40 years, and the current tenant was doing renovation work before moving in next week.

Pearce said police know about the decades-old missing person case and are looking into any links.

While some neighbours said it would be sad to know that's what happened to Brown, it would set minds at ease.

"It's weird, very strange," said Amber Emery.

"It's too bad, hopefully it's that fellow who went missing years ago."