HELENA, Mont. -

A skull found west of MacDonald Pass in late September was that of a Birdseye man whose partial remains were found in black trash bags near the pass west of Helena just over a year ago.
Powell County Sheriff Scott Howard and Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton  says on Friday that the state crime lab used dental records to confirm the skull was that of John "Mike" Crites. Crites was last seen in June 2011 and his death is being investigated as a homicide.
Crites was part of an ongoing land dispute and had been involved in lawsuits with neighbors over land access near his house.
A U.S. Forest Service worker found the first remains on Oct. 5, 2011. The skull was found on Sept. 26.