THE SKELETAL remains of a man discovered at Iluka in 2003 still presents as the biggest missing person's puzzle for Grafton detective Sergeant Grahame Burke.
Det Sgt Burke said while there were leads on local missing people like 19-year-old Jasmine Morris, who disappeared from South Grafton in 2009, and Ben Stephens, missing from Kangaroo Creek since March 2004, the identity of the Iluka man was a complete mystery.
"That's the one that bugs me the most," Det Sgt Burke said. "We've got a DNA profile and we've searched through the national database, but could not find a match.
"We're relying on mitochondrial DNA from a relative."
Det Sgt Burke said solving the mystery would require members of the victim's family becoming aware of the circumstances of the find and making the connection to the disappearance of a family member.
The remains were discovered in the Iluka Beach Reserve on August 24.
He was believed to be a male aged between 18 and 50 years old.
At the time he was found, the dead man was wearing a pair of Levi's brand stonewash denim jeans (size 35), a pair of Quiksilver brand blue shorts, and an Ecko Unlimited brand shirt.
A forensic pathologist estimated the time of death as between six months and two years prior to the discovery.
Det Sgt Burke said there had not been a lot of movement on local missing person cases in the past year.
He said there had been some leads in the most recent case, the 2009 disappearance of 19-year-old South Grafton woman Jasmine Morris.
There was also a search on a property where Ben Stephens went messing in 2004, but it was called off when police began investigating a murder near Baryulgil last year.