The discovery of human remains in a Worcestershire village is not believed to be linked to missing estate agent Suzy Lampugh, police have said.
Bones were found in a septic tank in Kempsey, about four miles south of Worcester, on Friday afternoon.
This is around seven miles from Pershore, where recent searches for evidence connected to Ms Lamplugh’s disappearance have taken place.
However, West Mercia Police said a link could not be made to a particular person until a post-mortem is conducted.
They are treating it as an unexplained death and are examining multiple lines of inquiry, including the 1982 disappearance of a local woman.
Superintendent Damian Pettit said: “This is understandably a concerning discovery for the people living in and around the village of Kempsey.
“Thankfully findings of this nature are very rare and I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the community that this is very unusual for the area.”
He added that officers do not believe the remains are connected to Ms Lamplugh.
Ms Lamplugh, a 25-year-old estate agent, had been working in Fulham, southwest London, when she disappeared on 28 July 1986.
She left her office on Fulham Road to show a client around a house nearby at about 12.40pm – and had recorded the appointment in her work diary: “12.45 Mr Kipper – 37 Shorrolds Road O/S.”
Ms Lamplugh was seen walking away from the property with a man, presumed to be Mr Kipper, shortly after 1pm.
When she failed to return to work, her manager called Ms Lamplugh’s mother Diana to ask if she had gone home for lunch.
After being told by Mrs Lamplugh that she had not seen her daughter either, her disappearance was reported to the police, shortly before 7pm.
Who is she and what happened to her?
The investigation into her disappearance was closed in 1987 after it failed to produce any leads – and despite never finding a body, she was officially declared dead in 1993.
Her parents set up the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, one of the first charities to raise awareness about women’s personal safety.
Officers investigating the 33-year mystery said on Wednesday they had concluded a search of land in Pershore, Worcestershire, after finding no evidence.
The search, which began on 3 July, involved the excavation of several areas and was conducted with the help of archaeologists.
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “We remain committed to securing justice for Suzy and her family, and officers will continue to assess any new information received in connection with this case.”
Ms Lampugh’s family have been informed.
Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is asked to call officers on 0207 230 4294.