Police have begun excavating a back garden in north London after being tipped off about buried human remains dating back 30 years, Scotland Yard have said.
Detectives received the information in July last year and have spent 12 months attempting to corroborate the tip-off, even making inquiries outside the UK, before deciding to excavate the garden, in Searle Place, Islington.
The force said the allegations do not relate to the current homeowners or any other ongoing investigation.
Specialist teams were today carrying out a "systematic excavation" of the area but police were unable to say how long it could go on for, with the search being reviewed on a daily basis.
Islington borough commander Gerry Campbell said: "Detectives in Islington have carried out a thorough investigation in order to corroborate the allegations made.
"I have made the decision that it is appropriate to excavate the garden. Until the conclusion of the search it would be inappropriate of me to comment further."
Scotland Yard said the search could take a matter of days.
Dismantling a shed was one the tasks being carried out by police handymen who were preparing the ground for the search. They were seen carrying out planks of wood from the back of the house.
Uniformed officers were standing at the front of the house which is in a small square that is backed on to by a row of garages.