NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police may have stumbled onto a unique cold case. Human remains were found buried in a backyard in the Richmond Hill section of Queens.

The bones could have been there for 40 years, but the reason police found them is even more intriguing, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Wednesday.

John Guido has lived in his home for 44 years, never imagining the secret buried in his neighbor’s yard.

“I was totally surprised. I spent a lot of time out here in the summer and all these years I never knew that within 20 feet or so there was somebody buried,” Guido said.

Investigators unearthed skeletal remains of an adult in the backyard of a house on 115th Street in the Richmond Hill section of Queens on March 12, 2019. (Photo: CBS2)

On Tuesday morning, crime scene investigators unearthed the human skeletal remains of an adult in the backyard of the home at 87-72 115th St. The property shares its back border with Guido’s yard. Police said a woman in her 50s tipped them off, claiming in the 1970s when she was 11 years old, she lived in the home with her parents and witnessed her mother and stepfather burying a body in the backyard. But she didn’t know who the dead person was.

“I had no knowledge of that whatsoever. I never heard anybody digging back there or any kind of foul play,” Guido said.

Police were still at the crime scene Wednesday, just a few houses away from Bircan Unver’s home.

“I mean, it’s horrific,” Unver said.

Unver said her in-laws lived in her house when the body was believed to be buried, but they didn’t know the tipster’s parents, whom police say owned the home 40 years ago, but don’t anymore.

Guido hopes the victim can be identified to bring closure to the person’s family.

“I would assume that that person has been missing for 40 years and somebody doesn’t know what happened to that person is, so maybe this will come full circle,” Guido said.

It could be some time before the medical examiner identifies the body and the exact cause of death. Police say the tipster’s mother and stepfather are believed to still be alive. Detectives were expected to speak with them on Wednesday.