POLICE are continuing their search for the possible remains of Kevin John Palmer.
Detectives, Home Office staff and firefighters were at the former Gordon Arms pub in Gordon Road, in Fareham yesterday.
Police from Hampshire and Thames Valley sealed off the pub at 7.30am after evidence emerged in connection to Mr Palmer’s disappearance in 1999.
Helen Clarke, 44, who lives close to the former pub, said: ‘It’s freaky to think that’s been on your doorstep.
‘It was a really popular pub. It was a really nice pub garden, it’s a bit weird.’
A woman, who asked not to be named, said: ‘It’s a bit of a shock to have that right near your doorstep. It’s scary.’
Debbie, 50, who did not want to give her full name, added: ‘It’s a shock.
‘It’s quite a close community round here. That pub was quite a popular pub.’
Detectives believe Mr Palmer went missing in Hampshire after a night out with friends on March 12, 1999.
It happened just after the timeshare salesman arrived in the UK from Malaga in Spain, where he was living.
Mr Palmer, who was aged 37 at the time, has never been found.
At 1am he got a cab with two men and a woman towards Bishop’s Waltham.
The car passed through Curdridge, where the taxi passengers argued.
The driver stopped at the junction of Middle Road and Botley Road and the three men got out, but only two men resumed the journey to a home in Hoe Road, Bishop’s Waltham.
Detectives thought they had found the taxi driver, but he failed to shed any new light and police were convinced he was not the person they were looking for.
Detective Superintendent Paul Barton said numerous pieces of intelligence had come in over the years and he wants to hear from the taxi driver.
He said: ‘Mr Palmer was living in Spain at the time of his disappearance but flew into the UK to go and see a football match – Newcastle vs Manchester United. He was actually quite well known as a Jon Bon Jovi lookalike, so he had long bleached hair and quite distinctive in that sense.’
He added preliminary work before today found anomalies in the garden which are now being investigated.
One man was arrested on suspicion of murder in 2003 but was released with no further action. Another man was quizzed in Spain.
The current owners of the pub declined to comment.