Two hikers were walking near the entrance to the Los Liones Canyon trail around 11 a.m. Saturday when they spotted the remains, Los Angeles Police Department officials said.
At the scene, officers found the skull along with the skeletal remains of a human torso about 20 feet away.
The remains have not been identified.
But the discovery is especially troubling for the family of 22-year-old UCLA student David Goeser, who went missing in July.
Family members posted the following update on the Find David Goeser Facebook page:
Dear friends, weve been notified by LAPD that Saturday a body was found in the Pacific Palisades area that fits Davids description. While the family continues to work with law enforcement to confirm the identity, we ask for your prayers and ongoing support. Your respect for the privacy of the Goeser family during this difficult time is appreciated. The exact cause of death will be determined after an autopsy is performed.
Anyone with information is asked to call West Bureau Homicide Detectives at (213) 382-9470 or toll free at (877) LAPD24-7 (527-3247).