Remains Found May Answer Two Year Old Mystery

April 18, 2012 Updated Oct 17, 2013 at 6:20 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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April 18, 2012 Updated Oct 17, 2013 at 6:20 PM EDT

Great Valley, N.Y. (WKBW) – A hiker in Allegany State Park found the remains of a body on Tuesday afternoon, and now investigators are trying to figure out more information.

First, they have to find out if they are, indeed, human remains. Then, they are working to match the remains to a man that went missing two years ago.

An Eyewitness News crew is in the Southern Tier as officials piece together this puzzle. In a Wednesday afternoon news conference, police told multi-media journalist Ed Reilly that the clothing, walking stick, and watch match the description of those lost by the man who went missing. Officials say they are "95% sure" it is him.

It was November 2010 when Thomas Hamilton, 92, and his daughter Rebecca went hiking in Allegany State Park in Great Valley. The two got lost, and after 16 agonizing hours Rebecca went for help. She found safety but Hamilton was never seen again.

We spoke to Rebecca shortly after Hamilton’s disappearance.

"We were crawling around 5...He just couldn't go any further so we just stopped and he just lay half-reclining on the grounds. So at 8 o'clock in the morning, he wasn't regaining his strength. I said, I've got to get some help. I don't think anybody knows we're in here because I didn't file a plan,” Rebecca Hamilton said.

Rebecca ran for help, alerted authorities, who then began an exhaustive search for Hamilton, scouring thousands of acres of land. The search lasted weeks but Hamilton was never found.

State Police are now investigating, and the Cattaraugus County Coroner is performing an autopsy to try and identify those remains.