Acting on a tip, authorities began digging at the rural Bradninch home once owned by David and Pauline Williams, who are serving a combined sentence of 35 years for raping, sexually assaulting and beating ten children over a 15-year period.
"These are ongoing investigations linked to historic intelligence at the bungalow," says Detective Superintendent Keith Perkin of Devon and Cornwall Police.
The excavations are expected to last until the end of the week at least and are being linked to the Williamses, who moved to Devon in the mid-90s.
Prior to this, the couple ran the Prince Albert pub in Gloucester, where self-confessed serial killer Fred West was a regular drinker. West – along with his wife Rosemary – are known to have killed at least 10 people at their house during the 1980s and early 1990s.
The couples lived near each other in the 1990s. The BBC published a story Thursday about a postcard written by Rosemary West that points to the possibility that the couples were part of a sex ring together.
During the Williamses Oct. 2015 trial, the court heard that David Williams often boasted of his connection with the Wests in front of their other bar customers, the BBC reports.
At their trial, the Williams denied a total of 46 charges of sexual and physical abuse between 1989 and 2004. They were found guilty, and in October 2015, David Williams, 57, was sentenced to life in prison and wife Pauline Williams, 53, received 12 years.
"David and Pauline Williams carried out a string of sickening and callous sexual attacks on children and teenagers without remorse over a 15-year period," Detective Constable Debbie Dow told reporters after the trial.
Fred West confessed to 11 murders in March 1994, after a forensic search discovered the remains of ten different people buried around the family home in Gloucester. Including among them was his daughter, Heather.
Fred West hung himself in jail in 1995 while awaiting trial. Rosemary West – who never confessed – was convicted of 10 murders in November 1995 and is currently serving life in prison.
Their house at 25 Cromwell Street was demolished in October 1996.