GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Human remains located in a heavily wooded area several days before Christmas have been identified as those of a Greenville man who had been missing since December 2019, according to the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office.

On Dec. 6, 2019, 44-year-old Phillip Rampey was reported missing from his Stantonsburg Road home. He was known to spend time in the local woods, officials said. Deputies and multiple search-and-rescue organizations searched the area for months but could not locate Rampey.

PCSO said in a press release that law enforcement officials and family members received multiple tips during the investigation. Reported sightings of Rampey were called in from as far away as Charlotte, but none of the leads panned out.

On Dec. 22, 2022, a hunter found human remains in what PCSO described as a “heavily wooded area near a creek of Askew Road, approximately three miles from Phillip Rampey’s residence.” Deputies, detectives and investigators from the Medical Examiner’s Office responded. Cadaver dogs searched the area on Dec. 22, 2022, and Jan. 3, 2023.

The Medical Examiner’s Office identified the remains as those of Phillip Rampey. The sheriff’s office said no evidence of foul play was found.