ELLSWORTH, Maine — The state medical examiner’s office is attempting to identify human remains discovered in Southwest Harbor late last week.

The set of partial remains were found by a landowner in a wooded area Thursday. The remains were discovered not far from one of the last reported locations of Pete Peterson, a local man who went missing nearly one year ago.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine State Police, said Wednesday that it was “obvious the remains had been there for some time.”

“We are aware of Peterson’s disappearance almost a year ago but at this point the remains have not been identified,” McCausland said. “We are also aware that Pete was seen in that area … shortly before he was reported missing.”

McCausland said additional investigations of the site are planned. A representative from the medical examiner’s office said no other information was available about the remains Wednesday.

McCausland declined to provide additional details about the remains. But a Facebook site set up by friends of Peterson featured many comments from people wondering whether he had been found at last.

Peterson was a familiar sight in Southwest Harbor as well as elsewhere on Mount Desert Island. Although developmentally disabled, he lived on his own and was a local fixture in area libraries, bookstores and cafes where he would often spend time.

After his disappearance, many local residents who had befriended Peterson organized search parties to look for him. An event to commemorate his life was planned last month and scheduled for Sept. 11 at the Harbor Ridge Community Center on Freeman Ridge Road.