DNA tests to crack Tasmanian bone mystery

Ethan James
DNA testing will be used to determine the owner of this backpack found in Tasmania last week.

Police will use DNA testing to figure out whether bones found in remote bushland south of Hobart belong to a Swiss tourist.

Two hikers stumbled across a skeleton alongside a backpack in the Huon Valley last week, with police believing it belongs to a 44-year-old man missing for more than six years.

Acting sergeant Michael Manning said investigators had spoken to a man in Switzerland who claims the remains are his brother's.

The man says his brother left Switzerland to go travelling and was last seen by family in 2010.

"We will seek to obtain a DNA sample from the Swiss man to establish whether there is a relationship with the deceased," Mr Manning said in a statement.

A photograph extracted from an SD card found in the backpack was released to the media on Friday.

It prompted a call from a Swiss man who believed the remains are of his friend.

Food, clothing, Swiss Francs, Hong Kong dollars and receipts for exchange in Switzerland in December 2010 were also in the backpack, discovered some 10km west of the popular Tahune Airwalk.

"At this stage there's very little information as to how the man came to be at the location," Mr Manning said.

"Every effort is being made to complete the process as quickly as possible to bring the family some closure about what happened to their loved one."