(CNN) — It was a real-life Halloween discovery that one man hopes will bring closure to a decades-long mystery.
Michael Carroll, 57, and his two adult sons were digging below their basement in Lake Grove, New York, on Wednesday when they discovered “what appeared to be human remains,” according to a news release from the Suffolk County Police Department.
They called 911 and homicide detectives came to investigate. Carroll said he hopes that the remains are those of his father, George, who went missing when Carroll was only an infant.
The find on Wednesday is a mystery held by the house, preceded decades ago by the disappearance of George Carroll, who lived in that house with his family.
“I will miss the basement, but I’m really glad we found what we found,” Carroll told CNN affiliate News 12 Long Island.
Carroll now lives in the house formerly owned by his parents, George and Dorothy. George Carroll has been missing since 1961 and Dorothy died in the late 1990s, Suffolk County Police said.
Neither Michael nor his brother Steven would speculate as to how the remains could have been buried.
“I think my mom was trying to protect us as young kids,” Steven Carroll, 61, told News 12 Long Island.
Police said the remains were taken to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office to be examined by an anthropologist.
It could takes weeks before he gets a definite answer, but Carroll hopes DNA matching will help confirm the identity of the remains as those of his father.
“I want to believe. Let’s put it that way, I want to believe it. I can’t tell you anything, we did the DNA, we’ll find out,” Carroll said.