Investigators say there was no sign of blood or trauma, but they suspect foul play.
Deputies say their biggest problem is they have no reports of any missing children in that age group anywhere in the area.
The North Carolina Center for Missing Persons has joined the search, pulling up 42 missing children cases that could be a match.
But if the child has never been reported missing, the search gets much tougher. Experts say a reconstruction may be necessary.
Jane Davison, of the N.C. Center for Missing Persons, said either a sketch or a clay reconstruction could be made from the skull, to try and get a sense of what this child may have looked like. Davison said the likeness could then be put on a show like "America's Most Wanted."
Davison says this is the first unidentified child case she's seen in the six years she's worked at the center. "I don't know that it would be that unusual across the nation, but in North Carolina, in my experience, it's unusual."
"Kids are thought to be rather innocent and somewhat defenseless," said Lt. Bobby Collins. "When you find a child like this about ten years old, you're obviously upset."
Investigators say the child's badly decomposed body spent up to four months in the spot where it was found. Authorities believe they can use dental remains from the body to identify it, as long as the child had dental records.
The Center for Missing Persons recommends all parents get their kids' dental impressions. They say parents can use the Styrofoam trays meat is sold on. They suggest washing the tray, cutting a small section, then having kids bite down on it. The impression that's left should be sufficient for identification.
The body was found Monday morning, when a worker mowing grass saw the white athletic shoes the boy was wearing. They were stamped with the letters "ZXS" on the heel.
The worker saw the bones next, then realized he had found human remains.
The child's remains were found just inside some woods along a lightly travelled service road. The road is on the outskirts of Mebane and parallels I-85/40.
International Fiberoptic Technologies, Inc. sits right next to where the body was discovered. Workers are still trying to come to grips with what happened.
"Of course we are shocked to find out that a body has been laying there for months," said Mebane resident Glenda Carlyle. "This is a very quiet community. You just don't expect things like that to happen here." The neighbors say they are disturbed that the victim was a child.
"Children are so vulnerable," said Carlyle. "To see somebody take advantage of a child like that, I can't imagine a child being missing. I don't know how you'd even react if you had a child missing much less to have a child turn up dead."
If you know anything about this case, please call the Orange County Sheriff's Department. ,Julie Moos
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