BLANDFORD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Sunday morning police saID a human skull was found in the woods off of Herrick Road in Blandford.
One Blandford family has confirmed to Western Mass News that it's their relative.
Milton Eldredge went missing from that area...five years ago.
Milton's girlfriend, Karen Buchinsky spoke exclusively with Western Mass News.
"I was in love with him since I met him in the late 80s," Buckinsky said.
Buchinsky lives on Herrick Road in Blandford. For years she dated Milton Eldredge, a red-headed prankster with a passion for nature.
Milton's daughter Renee, shares his red hair and love for the outdoors.
"We went hiking regularly, we used to climb the bugle in Gilbertville," Renee explained.
But the family said Milton struggled with opioid addiction in the early 2000s.
"I was just waiting for him to come home to me and he did in 2014," Buchinsky said.
On June 20th, 2014 Karen said Milton left her home on Herrick Road to go for a walk the last time she ever saw him alive.
"He had been extremely depressed and I'm mad at myself because I thought I should've made him go to a psych hospital," Buchinsky said.
The hours and days turned into weeks and months without hearing from him.
"He never just disappeared and didn't call or contact any of us," Renee noted.
And despite the posters and missing person alerts those months without Milton became 5 years.
"I had already decided that he was dead I couldn't live with the idea of him being in this world and not in contact with his grandchildren," Buchinsky explained.
Police said a human skull was discovered in this portion of the woods on Herrick Road on Sunday morning. Karen said shortly afterward she was asked for Milton's dental records.
"I just kind of was glad that there's a cop there who gave care," Buchinsky said.
Tuesday afternoon the family confirmed to Western Mass News that police told them the skull matched Milton's dental records.
Renee said they had told police Milton regularly walked through that area of the woods and they feel his disappearance didn't receive enough attention from law enforcement.
"It just doesn't seem like anything was ever really searched," Renee said.
Five years later and the family can't forget the searching for a man lost in the nature he loved so well.
"I don't know the word closure is just so weird. There's none of that. I just want people to care about him," Buchinsky said.
Western Mass News has reached out to State Police and the Hampden County D.A.for confirmation the skull belongs to Milton.