Officers said the remains discovered on Tuesday in Dale Avenue, Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, had been there for a “considerable time”.
They believe it is the body of 54-year-old David Baird, who has been missing from Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, since June 2012.
Further forensic tests have still to be carried out to establish the identity of the man. Police are currently liaising with Mr Baird’s family.
Officers are thought to have been alerted to the discovery by workmen in the area.
The death is being treated as unexplained.
In a statement, police said: “Police enquiries are continuing following the discovery of a body in Dale Avenue in Cambuslang.
“Following forensic examination Police Scotland can confirm the body is male and has been in situ for a considerable time.
“Enquiries continue to establish the identity of the man and circumstances surrounding his death.
“The death is currently being treated as unexplained.”
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