Ean Coutts: Fife man, 61, had 'planned move to Thailand or Morocco’ to start new business when it is suspected he was killed and dumped in Glenrothes industrial estate
The remains of Ean Coutts’ body 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 lived in Kinglassie for several years and was well known in the village.
In Kinglassie, where a full forensic examination of Mr Coutts' home in Main Street got underway yesterday, locals said the ex-Army cook had spoken of "starting over again" in a foreign country.
One villager said Mr Coutts had said he was going to Morocco or Thailand with a friend he had made and they planned to set up a business there.
And when he vanished from Kinglassie it was assumed he had moved abroad - where he is understood to have lived before - or returned to a previous home in England.
His council house - which appeared to have been abandoned - was later let to new tenants who do not form part of the investigation into his disappearance and death.
Another villager said: "We called him Couttsy, he was a nice guy. Kept pretty much to himself but loved going to second-hand shops in nearby towns looking for wee bargain buys.
"He kept his garden spotless and did not have many visitors but was very likeable.
"He said he was going to live in Thailand to one neighbour and told someone else he was going to Morocco. Someone also said that he had been left money in a will and had just left. Now it is obvious that he was dead all that time. It is a terrible thing to have happened to him."
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.
Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Houliston, from Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, revealed on Wednesday that police received a “significant number of responses” to the facial representation which allowed them to identify Mr Coutts.
DCI Houliston confirmed they are treating the death as suspicious and that officers would be carrying out inquiries in and around the Kinglassie and Glenrothes areas as part of their ongoing investigation.
He said it is “vital” that police are able to establish the events leading up to his death to provide answers to his family.
DCI Houliston appealed to anyone who knew Ean 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.