Police have begun excavating an Ardeer property in the hopes of cracking the decades-old cold case of missing mother Veronica Green.
Ms Green was last seen on February 13, 1976 at the family home in Ardeer and was reported missing by her husband two days later.
She was 38 at the time of her disappearance and would now be 84.
On Monday, detectives from the Brimbank Crime Investigation Unit began searching the yard of the Ardeer property where Ms Green lived with her husband and two daughters.
Over the years, detectives have made a number of inquiries and investigated several reported sightings of Ms Green but none have been confirmed.
All her possessions were left at her home and she has not contacted any family members in 44 years. Police have not ruled out foul play.
Detective Sergeant Allan Wood said the hope was the to find answers for Ms Green’s family.
“We are keeping an open mind regarding the investigation. However, Veronica’s disappearance is considered to be suspicious,” said Detective Sergeant Wood.
“We made the decision we need to search the property,” he said. “We are hoping to find anything to give us an indication of what might have happened to Veronica.
“We can’t rule out the possibility that we might find human remains as well.”
There were reports Ms Green went to work on the day of her disappearance, but Detective Sergeant Green said at this stage police have been unable to identify where she worked.
The excavation is expected to take about five days and is being conducted under the coroner’s authority.
Police said the house has changed owners several times and the present residents are not related to or connected to Ms Green.