GARDAI hope dental records will confirm later today whether the skeletal remains found on a mountainside on Sunday are those of James Kenny McDonagh, who is believed to have been murdered more than a year ago.
Initial tests indicate that the remains belong to a man, aged between 20 and 30.
The remains were found in a shallow grave beside an uprooted tree by two hill walkers in a wooded area of Sliabh na mBan Og, near the old Military Road, outside Tallaght in Dublin.
The find consisted of a skull with a full set of teeth and other bones.
Gardai will try to establish today if the dental records and DNA match those of Mr Kenny McDonagh (28), who went missing in October 2010.
Mr Kenny McDonagh, from Islandbridge Court, near Kilmainham, went missing on October 27 and his car, a Mazda 626, was found burnt out at Lock Road, Milltown, between Peamount hospital and the now derelict Polly Hops pub in Newcastle, Co Dublin.
Gardai think he fell foul of a criminal gang, led by a notorious figure operating in the west Dublin area. He was last seen in Bluebell, a few hours before the car was located.
One line of inquiry being pursued by detectives linked his disappearance to an incident involving the vicious criminal at the Memorial Park in Ballyfermot, the previous April.
It was not reported to gardai at the time.
Mr Kenny McDonagh was not closely linked to any crime groups. Gardai fear that he was abducted, shot dead and his body dumped.
Officers said last night that members of his family were being kept fully briefed and some of them paid a visit to the location of the find yesterday.
After forensic anthropologist Dr Laureen Buckley had completed her examination of the grave, around 25 gardai from the divisional search team began looking for any other evidence that might help identify the remains.
One officer said last night: "It is possible we might locate items such as a bracelet or a belt or some clothing that could be crucial to the identification process".
The remains have been transferred to the City Morgue in Marino for examination by the state pathologist.
Further DNA tests are being carried out on bone structures to help with identification and to determine how the man died.
After Mr Kenny McDonagh disappeared, his distraught mother Jackie pleaded for help in locating his body.
"I need to get closure on this. I need to have a moment to bury him," she said.
"If anybody out there knows anything, I'm begging them, please, to help me to bring him home."
She said the missing man was never in a bad mood. "He would come in, laughing and joking and was ''everything you could want in a son".
The sprawling and scenic Dublin mountains have long been used by gangs to bury remains of victims and conceal their crimes.