A manhunt was underway in Colorado on Wednesday after the authorities recently discovered the skeletal remains of three people near a tiny rural town near the New Mexico border.
A warrant for homicide was issued for Adre Jordan Baroz, 26, after investigators said they had found the remains on two properties near Los Sauces, in Conejos County, Colo.
The authorities did not say how they had connected Mr. Baroz to the remains, but said that people in the community know Mr. Baroz by his nickname, Psycho.
Law enforcement agents warned that he was dangerous and said that the discovery of the remains had deeply unsettled people in the county, which is home to about 8,000 residents, many of them farmers and ranchers.
“Obviously, we don’t see cases like this very often,” Ken Anderson, the chief of police in Alamosa, Colo., said at a virtual news conference on Wednesday with officials from several other local law enforcement agencies as well as the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
“It’s a very tight-knit community,” Chief Anderson said. “We really know a lot of people here. Most of us have grown up here. So now we’re at a point that it is imperative that we get this individual off the street. When I say he’s a danger to the community, I mean exactly that — he’s a danger.”
Officials said they had discovered the first skeletal remains on Nov. 10 after they went to a property near Los Sauces to execute a search warrant for stolen vehicles and equipment. The discovery led them to more remains on a nearby property, on Nov. 13.
Officials declined to describe the properties, but said they were not owned by Mr. Baroz, who is from nearby Sanford, Colo.
George Dingfelder, the chief of police in Monte Vista, Colo., said that a forensic anthropologist had confirmed that the remains were human. But the authorities said they did not know how the people had died, how old they were, their gender or how long the remains had been on the properties.
Chief Dingfelder said it could takes weeks or months to identify the victims.
The authorities declined to describe the evidence that led them to obtain a warrant for Mr. Baroz’s arrest. But law enforcement officials said they had set up a hotline to collect tips and had formed a task force to help investigate the case.
“Our department is just not big enough to handle what we were running into,” Garth Crowther, the Conejos County sheriff, said at the news conference. He said the discovery of the remains was “kind of a shock here.”
People are “concerned about it,” Sheriff Crowther said. “They need to be cautious and be careful.”
Los Sauces is home to about 25 people and has no businesses and only one road leading to it, according to Larry W. Crowder, the state senator who represents the area. “It’s a small farming community, very tight knit,” he said.
LeRoy Martinez, 81, a farmer and rancher who was born in Los Sauces and whose brother still lives there, described the community as a “beautiful little place.” But he said some of the grandchildren of the longtime families there had brought “bad vibes.”
He said he didn’t know Mr. Baroz, but said his family members work as builders and contractors in the area.
“Never seen this Psycho — don’t know about anything him,” Mr. Martinez said. “I’m sure they will find him. It’s just a matter of when.”
The manhunt was focused on Southern Colorado but could expand, depending on the investigation, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Chief Dingfelder emphasized that the remains were not necessarily connected to a number of cases of missing people in the San Luis Valley.
“Just because human remains have been found, we are not associating them with the missing persons cases at this time,” he said, “and for anybody to do so would be irresponsible and complete speculation.”