POLICE cadaver dogs are being used at the site of a former pub where detectives believe a man may be buried.
Up to 10 officers are searching the back garden of the former Gordon Arms, in Gordon Road, Fareham.
It comes as new evidence emerged over the murder of Kevin John Palmer in 1999.
Detective Superintendent Paul Barton, who is leading the investigation, said: ‘Kevin 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 look-a-like, so he had long bleached hair and quite distinctive in that sense.
‘We’re treating it as a murder investigation at the moment. But obviously if anyone has any information about the whereabouts of Mr Palmer, particularly if he’s still alive, we’d be please to hear from them.’
He added preliminary work before today found anomalies in the garden which are now being investigated.
Home Office staff and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service are also assisting the police.
Residents have spoken of their shock after the development.
A woman, who asked not to be named, said: ‘It’s a bit of a shock to have that right near your doorstep.
Dawn, 39, who did not want to give her last name, said: ‘I’ve been here for five years.
‘I do know the fella, I do know him. I’ve worked in pubs since I was 18.
‘I knew his face, I know I’ve served him several times.’
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.’