Authorities uncovered a body in the backyard of a home on Rebecca Way in Novato late Wednesday night, a Novato police sergeant said.
Novato police asked the FBI's evidence recovery team to excavate the rear yard of a missing man's home at 4 Rebecca Way on Wednesday morning, after results of a canine search turned out to be inconclusive, Novato police Sgt. Oliver Collins said.
Collins said that a neighbor reported 74-year-old Dale Smith missing on Feb. 9, saying that he had not been seen for several months.
Police then initiated a missing persons case and interviewed Smith's neighbors and family, Novato police said in a news release.
On Feb. 11, police requested that the California Office of Emergency Services provide cadaver dogs to check Smith's property, Collins said.
Novato police Lt. Dave Jeffries said Wednesday afternoon that the dogs reacted to something, but the search had "mixed results."
The FBI "worked late into the evening" and found a body buried under a "newly placed brick patio" near the rear entrance of the home, Collins said.
Collins added that the patio seemed to have been constructed to cover the gravesite.
The team will begin exhuming the body later this morning, Collins said.
Collins estimated that the body would be unearthed by tonight and identified shortly afterward.
Police declined to provide further details regarding the condition of the body.