Police in Kilmarnock have discovered the remains of a body in the search for missing 19-year-old, Hazel North, who lived with family in Stranraer for some time.
Police Scotland confirmed that the human remains were found in Dean Park, Kilmarnock, on Monday morning.
Ms North, 19, whose last address was given as one in Dunfermline, was reported missing on Friday - 20 days after telling her sister she was visiting a friend in Kilmarnock, 60 miles from her home.
Just last week, police were investigating a possible sighting of Miss North in Stranraer but this came to nothing.
Police have been questioning a man from Kilmarnock, named locally as John Davis, 25, as a witness in the inquiry.
A police statement said: “Police Scotland can confirm that as part of the ongoing missing person inquiry into Hazel North, officers commenced a detailed search and excavation of an area within Dean Park, Kilmarnock this morning, Monday 24 March 2014.
“We can confirm that following the search and excavation, human remains have been discovered at the location. This may be lengthy process due to the complexities of the site and would be done in a sensitive manner to ensure the integrity of the scene.”
forensic officer in garden
Forensics officers examined the house and garden in Northcraig Road
The human remains will be taken to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow for a post-mortem examination to be carried out.