Human remains found in a septic tank near Worcester may be linked to a local woman who went missing in 1982.
Police investigating the discovery in the village of Kempsey said they are examining the possible connection among other lines of inquiry.
West Mercia Police is treating last Friday's find as an unexplained death.
Amid speculation, the force said it did not believe the bones belong to missing estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, who also disappeared in the 1980s.
The find was made seven miles from Pershore, where recent searches for evidence connected to Ms Lamplugh’s disappearance have taken place.
But the force said a link could not be made to a particular person until a post-mortem is conducted.
In a statement, police said: "We will be following many lines of enquiry.
“Included within this is to establish if this is connected to the disappearance of a woman from the village of Kempsey in the 1980s.
"We are also aware there is some speculation that this discovery may be linked to the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh who also went missing in the 1980s.
"Although we don't believe it to be, until we have the post-mortem results we are not in a position to link the bones to any particular person at this stage and are keeping an open mind."
Superintendent Damian Pettit, South Worcestershire's Local Policing Commander 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.
"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.
"At this stage we don't believe the remains to be connected to the Met Police's missing person investigation for Suzy Lamplugh."
A search operation led by the Metropolitan Police was launched in the nearby Pershore area of Worcestershire earlier this month in relation to Miss Lamplugh's disappearance in 1986.
The two-week operation has now concluded, with the Met saying no evidence was recovered.