Northern Constabulary has said that it is considering searching an old quarry for human remains in a bid to solve a long-standing mystery.
The disappearance of Renee MacRae and her child sparked a massive investigation
The move followed fresh claims about the disappearance of a woman and her young son 27 years ago.
Renee MacRae's burnt-out car was discovered in a layby on the A9, but she and her son Andrew were missing.
Now a retired police officer has gone public with his suspicions about where their bodies may be.
The disappearance of Renee MacRae and her toddler son sparked one of Scotland's biggest missing persons inquiries.
It was November 1976 when her badly-damaged BMW car was found beside the main Inverness to Perth road, 12 miles south of Inverness.
But no firm evidence of what happened to its occupants has been established in the years since.
The latest twist follows claims from a former Northern Constabulary officer who believes he was close to discovering their bodies 20 years ago.
John Cathcart said he smelled decaying flesh at a quarry close to where the car was found.
But he claimed that he was not allowed to continue the investigation.
Detectives who have been reviewing details of the case say a decision will be made within the next six weeks on whether to open up the now-disused quarry.
It has also emerged that they have consulted anthropological forensic experts who could advise in any dig undertaken at the site.