Human remains were found in the boot of a missing Kerang man's burnt-out car, detectives have confirmed.
Police found William Stevenson's car on Wednesday at Norman Road in Wellsford, north of Bendigo.
Mr Stevenson, 47, had been at a friend's house, near where the car was found, on Christmas Day. He had not been seen since.
Two people have been arrested and are assisting police with their inquiries.
Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles confirmed remains were found in the boot of Mr Stevenson's 1996 green Mitsubishi Magna sedan.
The car was found by a police officer from the nearby town of Goornong, who was searching the area at the request of detectives.
Senior Sergeant Iddles said it appeared the vehicle had been pushed by a four-wheel-drive after being set alight.
He urged anyone who had moved the car, or knew any further information, to contact police.
"If someone has moved the car, they are not in trouble, we just need to eliminate all possibilities," he said.
He said it was "odd" no one had reported the fire.
Senior Sergeant Iddles said no cause of death had been determined, but confirmed the remains belonged to a man.
Mr Stevenson’s family in New Zealand has been notified of the investigation.
Forensic investigators are at the scene, and the car is expected to be removed on Thursday afternoon.
A pathologist from the state coroner's office is examining the remains.
Mr Stevenson was reported missing on December 27 when he did not turn up to work in Bendigo.
Police believe the car may have been at the site for days. It appears to have been rammed away from the road by another vehicle.
A crime scene has been established at the site and detectives are waiting for the results of forensic tests on the vehicle.
Anyone who may have seen Mr Stevenson or his car in the Kerang, Bendigo or Wellsford areas since December 25 is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppers.com.au.
With Bendigo Advertiser