A woman whose skeleton was found in a chimney was a homicide victim, investigators said, but her name and manner of death remain a mystery.

A chimney sweep discovered the remains Oct. 14 while cleaning in the basement of an apartment building in the Dorchester section.

The remains were examined by a forensic anthropologist and by the state medical examiner's office, which determined the cause of death was violence.

It was unclear how old the woman was or how long the body had been in the chimney, police spokesman Michael McCarthy said Tuesday.

"There are many details about this person and how she died that may be known only to her killer and little by little by us," said David Procopio, a spokesman for the Suffolk District Attorney's office.