A THIRTEEN year search for the body of a missing lorry driver, who was killed by one of his best friends, ended yesterday after he was identified from bone fragments found in a field.
DNA tests have confirmed that the human remains, found in a shallow grave on a farm in the Carse of Gowrie in September, are those of 38 year-old Adam Alexander.
Mr Alexander was last seen alive on a Sunday afternoon in November 1999 by a neighbour at his home in the Perthshire village of Errol.
But in April 2010 Thomas Pryde, one of his friends, was jailed for ten years at the High Court in Edinburgh after he admitted the culpable homicide of Mr Alexander at his home in Errol and disposing of the body.
Pryde was brought to justice after he drunkenly confessed to killing Mr Alexander with an iron bar during a row and then burying his body in waste ground. He made the confession to his wife Angela while on holiday in Greece and, when the couple later split, she went to the police.
Pryde, 38, a drainage contractor, of Scone, Perthshire, later told detectives: “I put him in the back of the car. I panicked. I took him along by the brickworks and buried him.
“What happened that night will never go away from me. I can always remember the fact that I thought it was him or me.”
Following his arrest, Pryde told detectives where he had buried the the body of his friend but a large scale search of the Errol area in 2008 failed to find any trace of Mr Alexander.
The long search for Mr Alexander’s body then took a dramatic new turn on 14 September this year when officers from Tayside Police unearthed human remains, a left fibula, in a field at Muiredge Farm, near the Errol brickworks.
The following day further skeletal remains were uncovered which were taken to the police morgue in Dundee for detailed DNA analysis involving experts from Dundee University.
A Crown Office spokesman yesterday confirmed: “DNA analysis of human remains discovered on Tuesday 14 September in a field at Muiredge Farm, in the Errol area of Perth and Kinross, has confirmed the remains as those of Adam Neil Alexander.
“The family of Mr Alexander have been advised of developments and also informed that there will be no further proceedings in relation to his death.”
Mr Alexander’s mother, Tricia Bremner, who visited the site shortly after the human remains were discovered, paid tribute to the police officers and forensic experts involved in the search.
She said: “Even after 13 years, I’ve never, ever, at any time, given up the fight for justice for Adam and the belief that I would find him. It didn’t always go as it should have but the officers involved have got to be praised for their dedication after all these years.
“The officers involved laboured so hard and have gone above and beyond the call of duty to deliver Adam’s remains. It’s been a difficult job doing all the tests to be absolutely sure it’s him and I’m satisfied they’ve got it right.”
A spokeswoman for Tayside Police said: “The family of Mr Alexander have been advised of developments and also informed that there will be no further proceedings in relation to his death.”
Chief Superintendent Roddy Ross, who led the criminal investigation said: ‘‘We are very pleased to have finally found Adam.”.