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SAC CITY, Iowa | Police are searching for a friend of a Sac City man who went missing three years ago after the new owner of his house found his remains buried in the basement Monday.

Sac City police say the skeletal remains discovered in the house in the 500 block of North Fifth Street are those of Mark Koster, the former homeowner. His identity was determined by dental records. Additional autopsy results could take several more weeks.

Koster, 58, was last seen with the friend in May 2009. An investigation at the time did not reveal any indication of foul play, but now police are investigating the "suspicious circumstances" surrounding the discovery of his remains.

“(His death) is going to be investigated no matter what because of the suspicious nature from where the body was recovered,” said Sac City police chief John Thomsen. He would not elaborate.

“The main thing will be to find the friend, who was reported living with him,” Thomsen said. “His name’s Tom, and he’s either from Florida or Texas.”

A Google search turned up addresses in Florida and Texas for Koster before he lived in Sac City.

The friend has not been seen since Koster disappeared, Thomsen said.

No one has lived in the house for more than three years, police said.

Since Monday’s discovery, the house has been sealed off. The new homeowner renovates homes and sells them, so no one has been displaced.

Koster's family reported him missing in 2010 and later had him legally declared dead by the courts. The family sold the house in May.

While officials continue to investigate, one of his sisters said the family was saddened but relieved to have some closure in the case.

“We hope he is resting in peace,” said Jane Koster, of Des Moines.

Anyone with information about the case or Koster’s former roommate is asked to call the Sac City Police Department at 712-662-7772.

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