KITCHENER -- Human remains found in Joshua Tree National Park may belong to a Guelph man who went missing nearly a year and a half ago.

Paul Miller's family confirms that the remains were found not far from where he vanished in July of 2018.

Dawne Robinson, Miller's sister, tells CTV that the analysis of the remains is underway.

She says her brother's dental records have been sent to help with identification.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed, as strange as that may sound, we are hoping that it’s Paul because it’s been a long year and a half," she says.

"If it isn’t, then hopefully it will bring closure to some other family, if they do belong to someone else. But we're optimistic. We're very cautious at this point because we don’t want to get our hopes up. Hopefully the dental records will clarify whether it’s Paul or not."

The discovery was made in a remote, rocky and steep location away from any trails. Robinson says an agency has helped the family search for Miller using a drone and has taken hundreds of photographs.

Whether or not the remains belong to Miller remains to be seen.

The cause of death is still undetermined, but the National Park Service says there's no indication of any foul play.

Miller's wife, Stephanie, provided a statement to CTV.

"The family is hopeful this whole nightmare can be over soon," it reads in part.

Robinson says the family had passed within 20 metres of the spot where the remains were later discovered on one of their multiple ground searches.