Police are set to excavate the garden of a family home in the hunt for a missing teacher.
Elizabeth Ruffle, 34, disappeared in November 1969 after visiting her mother’s home in Motherwell.
Despite appeals from her family, she has not been heard from since and no one has been able to help locate her.
However, it is understood that Strathclyde Police is now following a tip-off that Mrs Ruffle could be dead and her body buried in the garden of the house in Annan Glade where the primary school teacher lived before her disappearance.
She shared the home with her husband Norman, son Graham and daughter Rosemary. The family had lived there since 1967.
Mrs Ruffle, known to friends as Evelyn, was born in 1935 in Motherwell and on leaving school she attended Craiglochart Training College in Edinburgh where she trained as teacher from 1953 until 1956.
She then took a number of teaching posts in Singapore, Bournemouth and various schools in North Lanarkshire including Cathedral Primary School where she was working when she went missing.
The mother-of-two was last seen at her home address in Annan Glade, Motherwell, on November 14, 1969.
A different family now occupy the home and the police have informed them of the planned excavation of the patio area in the back garden.
On Tuesday, police used radar equipment to search the ground in the garden for her body.
Following her disappearance, Mrs Ruffle's family moved to South Africa. A police investigation at the time uncovered no trace of her.
Her son Graham made a fresh appeal for information on her whereabouts in 2007 although the plea proved fruitless.
Superintendent Andy McKay said on Tuesday: "It is now over 40 years since Elizabeth went missing and I urge anyone with information, no matter how small, to come forward and hopefully we can provide some resolution to her family.
"I have no doubt that someone has information which can help us to find out what happened to Elizabeth. It was completely out of character for her to leave her two small children. It may be four decades since Elizabeth was last seen, however my officers are no less determined to find out what happened to her."
If you have information that may assist the investigation please contact the incident room at Motherwell Police Office on 01698 483010 or 01698 483135.
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