A murder investigation is underway after human remains were found buried in a shallow grave on farmland northwest of Adelaide.

The bones and ragged clothing were discovered on Friday at Long Plains, a rural area about 75km northwest of the city, by a landowner clearing land for fence repairs.

Detectives say the remains probably lay in situ for several years before being found and are treating the death as murder.

A forensic anthropologist visited the scene on Saturday and conducted a preliminary examination.

The expert was unable to immediately determine the identity, age, sex and ethnicity of the dead person.

The cause of death is also yet to be established and an autopsy will be carried out on Saturday night.

Dental records and DNA from the bones is due to be checked to try and identify the person.

Detectives are reviewing missing person and previous murder case files.

 

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