The sheriff has identified the body found off Old Clovis Highway this month as Daniel Herrera.
Britt Snyder says detectives had to assume the body belonged to the 23-year-old Roswell man.
He claims they went forward with the investigation to keep the case moving and work any leads they had.
Snyder also says Herrera died from gunshots. He previously said investigators thought he died where George Reese found him.
The Roswell Daily Record reports Snyder has declined to comment on suspects or motive.