PORTLAND, Ore -- Deputies say they are investigating a case of human remains found in Washington County Friday morning in connection with a 2012 North Plains murder.

The remains were found just after 9:30 a.m. on private forestland east of Northwest Willis Road and Pumpkin Ridge Road, according to Deputy Jeff Talbot of the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Talbot confirmed investigators believe Friday's case could be connected with the 2012 murder of 50-year-old Theresa Fronsman. The suspect in the murder, Robert Hardison, has not been seen since Fronsman's death.

Robert Hardison graphic_12450298
Robert Hardison graphic

In that case, James Fronsman reported he had just come home and found his wife dead.

Background: Wash. Co. man wanted for neighbor's murder

The remains are that of an adult and appear to have been there for an extended period of time, Talbot said.

DNA evidence will be submitted to the Oregon State Crime Lab and the results will be released when available.