AN 86-YEAR-OLD man arrested on suspicion of murder, after police found human remains in a septic tank, is understood to be the husband of the alleged victim.

Police investigating the murder of Brenda Venables, who disappeared in 1982, arrested an 86 year-old man in Kempsey, where remains thought to be those of Mrs Venables were found earlier this month.

The Evesham Journal understands that the 86-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder is Mrs Venables' husband, David Venables.

In an update on Tuesday, the force said detectives are still awaiting DNA results but “the general circumstances lead us to believe” that the remains are likely to be those of Mrs Venables.

West Mercia Police launched a murder investigation after workmen made the grim find on July 12 while cleaning out a septic tank in the village.

Following the discovery, Superintendent Damien Pettit gave a press conference in which he said the force would try to find out who the remains belonged to and how they ended up in the septic tank.

In May 1982, following the disappearance of his wife, David Venables told the Worcester News: “I just woke up to find that she had gone.

“She has never done anything like this before and I haven’t the faintest idea what has happened to her.”

Police said the formal identification process, regarding the remains, was likely to take a few weeks and officers were seen searching the current bungalow address of Mr Venables on Tuesday, July 29.

Police would not be drawn on activity at the scene other than to say it was “a line of investigation”.