Grim discovery as man found dead on his 90th birthday

The results of an autopsy will offer vital clues over the suspicious death of an elderly man inside his western Victorian farmhouse.

It was Ken Handford's 90th birthday, but instead of celebrations a neighbour made a grim discovery.

The man known to locals as simply 'Kenny' was found dead by a neighbour on his 90th birthday inside the property at Springbank, near Ballarat, on Tuesday afternoon.

The results of an autopsy will offer vital clues over the suspicious death of an elderly man inside his western Victorian farmhouse. Photo: 7 News

Neighbours say he'd lived on the property for more than a decade.

His body was reportedly found tied up in the home where he lived alone - and police say there's evidence someone had been rummaging around.

Handford was last seen on Sunday and his home had been disturbed in what homicide detectives believe was a search for valuables.

Neighbours say he'd lived on the property for more than a decade. Photo: 7 News

Homicide squad Detective Inspector Mick Hughes said the man was very active and still worked occasionally on the farm at Springbank, east of Ballarat.

"A neighbour found the deceased man inside the house on what would have bene his 90th birthday," Det Insp Hughes told AAP.

"It does appear some items in the house have been disturbed by someone looking for valuables or jewellery."

It was Ken Handford's 90th birthday, but instead of celebrations a neighbour made a grim discovery. Photo: 7 News

Police believe some items in the house have been disturbed by someone looking for valuables or jewellery.

Det Insp Hughes wouldn't confirm any injuries but media reports suggest the man may have been tied up with a piece of cord.

Detectives are keen to speak to anyone who saw the man or activity on the property after 11am on Sunday.

Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers.

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