Just days before a man accused of his murder was due to face trial, the human remains believed to be those of Nicholas Katopodis were found buried underneath a Mount St Thomas home.
Police made the grim find on Saturday afternoon, after a three-day search of the property by officers investigating the 45-year-old Cordeaux Heights man's alleged murder.
Forensic officers had been searching a Gladstone Avenue home since Thursday after receiving new information about Mr Katopodis' death.
On Saturday afternoon about 2pm they discovered human remains underneath the house.
Officers cleaning up the grisly scene were covered in mud and large piles of dirt had been dug up in the front yard.
Mr Katopodis was last seen at the Wollongong Hellenic Club on July 27, 2011.
Police turned to the media in August that year appealing to the public for information to locate the missing man or retrace his whereabouts.
There had been no activity on his bank account since his disappearance.
Police have carried out several searches for his body since then, including a search at WIN Television's Mount St Thomas headquarters last year, but failed to find any trace of the missing man.
Searches have also been conducted in Windy Gully and Coniston.
On Friday, Wollongong Acting Superintendent Tim Beattie said finding Mr Katopodis' body was critical to the investigation and important in bringing closure to his family.
The human remains found on Saturday will be taken for an autopsy to formally identify them and to establish a cause of death.
Mount St Thomas man Jason Aroha Wiremu Hiroki was charged with Mr Katopodis' murder in September 2011.
The 40-year-old is currently in custody.
He has pleaded not guilty and his trial is set to start in the Supreme Court sitting in Wollongong today.
Anyone with information should call Wollongong police on 4226 7899 or CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.
The Search For Nicholas Katopodis:
July 27, 2011 – Nicholas Katopodis last seen at the Hellenic Club.
August 17 – Wollongong police make a public appeal for information to locate the missing man after three days spent scouring a Mt St Thomas address.
August 23 – Police and SES volunteers carry out a search at Mount Kembla.
September 14 – Wollongong detectives arrest and charge Mount St Thomas man Jason Aroha Wiremu Hiroki with murder.
October 12 – Police and SES volunteers search scrub off Masters and Springhill roads.
November 11 – Police and other emergency service agencies search bushland near Masters Road.
August 2, 2012 – Police carry out a search at WIN Television’s Mount St Thomas headquarters.
March 2, 2013 – Human remains, believed to be that of Mr Katopodis, are discovered buried under a Mount St Thomas house.