Human remains discovered by maintenance workers in the bottom of a septic tank are believed to be those of a farmer’s wife who went missing 37 years ago.
The remains were found at Quaking House Farm on Bestmans Lane in Kempsey, Worcestershire last week and were initially thought to be connected to the search for murdered estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, who disappeared in 1986.
But police have ruled out the connection and now neighbours think the remains are those of Brenda Venables, who disappeared from her home in Kempsey in 1982, aged 48.
Her husband David, now 86, sold the farmhouse for £467,000 in 2014 and now lives in a bungalow a mile away.
Speaking at the time of his wife’s disappearance, he told his local newspaper: “I just woke up to find that she had gone.
“She has never done anything like this before and I haven’t the faintest idea what has happened to her.”
He said his wife had been suffering from depression and a bout of flu and added: “I have been unable to sleep a wink since she left and I can only hope and pray she is safe.”
When he was approached by reporters about the discovery of human remains at this former home, Mr Venables said: “I have nothing to say on the matter.”
One unnamed villager in Kempsey said: “Nobody ever seemed to know what happened to her.
“She went missing one night - the family have never had closure.”
West Mercia Police say it could take weeks before the remains are formally identified.
Superintendent Damian Pettit said: “We are conducting a very thorough investigation and have multiple lines of enquiry to explore and one of which is into the disappearance of a woman from Kempsey that was launched in 1982.
“Until we have formal identification we are not in a position to link the remains to any particular person at this stage.”