HUMAN remains found at a nature reserve are those of a woman but not those of murder victim Suzanne Pilley, police said.
A body was found buried in a shallow grave in a woodland near a private hospital on Corstorphine Hill, Edinburgh, by a dog walker at about 5:30pm on Thursday.
There had been speculation that they belonged to Ms Pilley as officers had visited the home of her parents shortly after the remains were found. The 38-year-old went missing from her workplace in Thistle Street, Edinburgh, in May 2010. Her body has never been located but her former lover, David Gilroy, 50, was found guilty of her murder in March 2012 and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Police yesterday confirmed that the body found was not that of Ms Pilley, and they were trying to establish the identity of the woman and whether a crime has been committed.
Detective Chief Inspector Keith Hardie, who is leading the inquiry, said: “Good progress was made over the weekend with a lot of support from a wide variety of specialists.
“The remains have been fully excavated and the detailed examination of the site will continue over the next few days. Our focus is now on trying to identify the victim and then determine the circumstances surrounding her death.”
Anthropologists and archaeologists were brought in to help determine how long the body had been in the ground, although DCI Hardie has already said the remains were not believed to have been in the ground for more than a year and were “relatively recent”. He also said the remains are not believed to be of anyone on the missing persons list.
Ms Pilley, a bookkeeper, from Stenhouse in west Edinburgh, had been in a relationship with Gilroy, a manager at the building management company where they both worked. They had broken up a few days before her death. Gilroy was married with children.
On 4 May, 2010, she vanished after making her usual journey to work in the city centre. She entered her workplace but never arrived at her desk.
Prosecutors said Gilroy killed her in the basement of the building that morning and dumped her body in the boot of his silver Vauxhall Vectra. He then buried her the next day more than 100 miles away in the forests of
Argyll, they said.
Officers on the case trawled hundreds of hours of CCTV footage, which included Gilroy entering and leaving the basement garage at his work and purchasing four air fresheners at the same time.
Evidence later showed that Gilroy was driven to kill when Ms Pilley told him their relationship was over and she had started seeing another man. It is believed that Gilroy subsequently abandoned her body in Argyll.
Detectives have been seeking any new information which could help recover Ms Pilley’s body.