State and Essex police officers are excavating an area off Vermont Route 15 in a search for William and Lorraine Currier, the Essex Junction couple who disappeared last June. Police suspect foul play.
Police are using a backhoe Thursday to excavate the area and a state police dog is examining the soil as it is being removed from the ground.
Essex Police Chief Bradley LaRose says the operation is part of the search for the Curriers.
The Burlington Free Press reports that at about 11:30 a.m. the digging stopped and police in hazmat suits were seen.
Fifty-year-old William Currier worked at the University of Vermont and his 56-year-old wife worked for Fletcher Allen Health Care. They were last seen leaving their jobs at about 5 p.m. June 8, 2011.