Police ID missing man as person discovered in shallow grave by woman burying pet cat

California police investigators have identified the human remains dug up Saturday by a woman burying her pet cat as belonging to a man missing for almost a year.

Jacob Sutton-Bubeck, 26, of Modesto, also known as "Cheddar," was reported missing by his brother in early February. Sutton-Bubeck's brother last saw him on Jan. 25, according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office.

>> Related story: Woman burying pet cat finds human remains in shallow grave

Investigators following up on tips from the public got a tentative identification of Sutton-Bubeck, a Sheriff's Office news release said. The county coroner was able to positively identify the skeletal remains through dental records.

Detectives have concluded that Sutton-Bubeck's death was a homicide, but they are not releasing details of how he died. His manner of death is something that would be known solely by the person who committed the crime, the news release said.

"I would like to talk to anyone who may have seen Jacob or spoken to him after Jan. 25," Stanislaus County Detective Cory Brown said in a statement. "Due to the different variables that affect decomposition, it is impossible to identify a specific date that Jacob was murdered or when he was buried.

“That is why it is important to talk to people who may have seen him after that date to narrow down a specific time line.”

Brown said investigators also want to talk to anyone who has lived in the home, located in the 100 block of Santa Rita Avenue in Modesto, within the past year.

It was a renter at the home who discovered Sutton-Bubeck's decomposing body Saturday as she dug a grave for her deceased cat. The renter is not a suspect in the case, nor is the owner of the home, investigators said earlier this week.

A woman named Ashley Sutton, who created a GoFundMe page for Sutton-Bubeck’s cremation that has since been taken down, described him as her brother-in-law.

“My brother(-in-law) is the type of person that would have given you the shirt off his back, and he did not deserve this,” Sutton wrote. “We are heartbroken.”

On Facebook, Sutton mourned her brother-in-law.

“After 10 long agonizing months, after waiting and wondering, here you are,” she wrote. “Why couldn’t you have just came (sic) home. I love you my brother, and will always and forever. Watch over your niece, who was the only girl who ever truly had your heart! Rest in paradise.”

Former classmates of Sutton-Bubeck also mourned him on social media, describing him as a person who always had the backs of his friends.

"I hope they find out what happened to him," one woman wrote. "Please bring his family some comfort."

Another woman said that, whenever she saw Sutton-Bubeck, he brought with him “positive vibes.”

"You were always laughing and cracking jokes," she wrote. "My prayers are with your family. RIP, Cheddar-bob!"

Anyone with information on Sutton-Bubeck's slaying is asked to call Brown at 209-567-4485. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636 or by visiting Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers.

Tips can also be texted to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus the message, investigators said. Tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward.