CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) — Detectives are gearing up for a lengthy investigation after construction workers dug up skeletal remains in Central Falls Monday morning.

The human remains were unearthed by an excavator near Broad and Sheridan streets.

It took Carlos Silva, who was operating the machine, by surprise.

“All of a sudden, I see body parts coming out of the bucket,” he recalled. “I stopped … had to call the cops.”

Central Falls Police Maj. Christopher Reed said the state medical examiner confirmed the remains are human.

“The remains appear to be from one individual,” Reed said.

Reed said it’s too early to tell whether the person’s death was criminal in nature.

“This is going to be a long and time-consuming process,” he explained. “The remains have been there for a considerable amount of time, so it’s going to take a considerable amount of time.”

Investigators spent hours Monday sifting through the dirt looking for additional remains. The remains were removed by the state medical examiner, who will work to identify the person and determine their cause of death.

The remains were removed from the work site by the state medical examiner, who will work to identify the person and determine their cause of death.

Reed said the work site was previously home to a business, adding that the building was knocked down roughly a month ago to make room for new housing.

Those plans have since been put on hold, with Reed confirming that construction has been suspended indefinitely.

Reed said it will likely be some time before the remains are identified.

“We’ve got a long road ahead of us,” he said.