Update 1 p.m.: Pennington County authorities are working today to confirm the identity of an individual whose skeletal remains were discovered about 6 p.m. Tuesday night in a remote area of Kelly Gulch.
Pennington County Chief Deputy Willie Welchel said the individual had been dead for an extended period of time. Personal belongings found with the body are being used to confirm the person's identity.
"We do not suspect foul play at this time," Welchel said.
Authorities were called to rugged country west of Pactola Reservoir Tuesday evening by off-road riders who reported finding a body there.
Capt. Jay Evenson of the Pennington County Sheriff's Office said late Tuesday evening that efforts to reach the area where the body had been reported had been suspended for the night because of darkness and dangerous terrain.
"Once it got dark, they couldn't get back down into where it's supposed to be," Evenson said. "It's up near some cliffs, and we don't want anybody getting hurt."
The search will resume in the morning.
The report came in shortly after 6 p.m. from all-terrain-vehicle riders who had been in the area northwest of Silver City, Evenson said.
"These people found it. I'm not sure if they saw if from the ATVs or if they got off and were out hiking or something," he said. "We'll start out again in the morning, in the daylight."
Evenson said he didn't have any other information on the body. He said he considered the report from the ATV group credible. Beyond that, "there's just a lot of unknowns right now," Evenson said.