Ean Coutts death: Watch as Police Scotland deploy a cadaver dog in dead man's house
The remains of Ean Coutts were found at Whitehill Industrial Estate in Glenrothes in September but only identified this week after a facial representation image was released by police in late November.
A 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder but later released pending further inquiries.
Police said Mr Coutts had lived in Kinglassie – two and a half miles from where his body was found – for several years and was well known in the village.
After furnishings were removed from the property this morning, a cadaver dog trained to seek out even the tiniest amount of human remans was deployed in the council house. Police Scotland has a number of cadaver dogs which have been used in a string of high-profile murder investigations and missing persons searches.
Specialist crime scene examiners wearing forensic overalls stood by outside Mr Coutts’ former home as the spaniel was sent in – and started barking immediately.
Piles of belongings were also seen outside the Main Street house, which was allocated to new tenants after Mr Coutts left it some time late in the summer of 2019.
Locals previously revealed that the ex-Army cook had spoken of "starting over again" in a foreign country.
One villager said Mr Coutts told him that he was going to Morocco or Thailand with a friend he had made and they planned to set up a business there.
His house was later let to new tenants who do not form part of the investigation into his disappearance and death.
A facial reconstruction image, based on data from the human remains, was released on November 27 by Liverpool’s John Moores University after initial attempts to identify the victim had failed.
The human remains had been discovered by a group of people interested in exploring abandoned buildings who made the gruesome discovery and raised the alarm.
It is understood that following door-to-door inquiries in Kinglassie and at another property in Glenrothes which is also being searched, detectives visited a number of business premises in Fife which Mr Coutts may have had links to.
Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Houliston, from Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, revealed on Wednesday that officers received a “significant number of responses” to the facial representation which allowed them to identify Mr Coutts.
DCI Houliston appealed to anyone who knew Mr Coutts or may have had contact with him from around August 2019, and anyone who has information that could assist with their investigation, to contact police urgently.
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 and quote incident number 2692 of Sunday, September 27 2020.
Anyone who can help is asked to make contact by calling 101, quoting incident number 2692 of Sunday, 27 September, 2020, emailing [email protected] or through the Major Incident Public Portal (MIPP) website via https://mipp.police.uk/operation/SCOT20S26-PO1
Alternatively, anyone wishing to pass information anonymously can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.