The remains were found in a unit at an industrial estate in Whitehill Road on Sunday, September 27 and subsequent forensic work suggests they have been there for at least two years.
But Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Houliston, the lead officer on the case, said the death remains unexplained and the hope is that this new facial “representation,” created by the Face Lab at Liverpool’s John Moore University based on details from the remains, will help jog someone’s memory.
Details of whether any criminality was involved are not yet known as the remains, which were found by a group interested in exploring abandoned buildings, must first be identified.
Detective Chief Insp Houliston told the Edinburgh Evening News: “This is a representation, not a photo, but we are hopeful it is an accurate representation and we are putting it out to be shared widely with the hope that, should anyone see this, we ask people to take the time to look at it and if they recognise the face at all, please contact us to allow us to try and identify this man.
“This man has a family but we don’t know to what extent - he may be a father, brother or uncle and we want to reunite him with his family.”
Forensic work has indicated that the man was aged at least 35 and was probably much older, and that he was of slight build and around 5ft 8ins to 5ft 9ins. He had lost a number of teeth and had a surgical plate fixed to his left ankle sometime between late 1998 and early 1999.
Detective Chief Insp Houliston said police have also established that plates bearing this batch number were acquired by Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline as well as major hospitals in Sheffield and Ashford, Kent in December 1998.
He says the plate may have been fitted during surgery carried out at a hospital in one of these areas.
He said police have been working closely with these health boards to check through hospital records to see if anything might show up.
Work is also ongoing across the UK to look at any outstanding missing persons who the remains could belong to, and he acknowledged that it could be the case this person was never reported missing.
Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Houliston added: “If the face, or any of the details that are mentioned today, jogs anyone’s memory then please get in touch with Police Scotland by calling 101, quoting incident number 2692, of 27 September.”
Detective Chief Insp Houliston also thanked members of the public who have come forward over the last two months with information about who may have frequented the industrial unit or who may have worked there - and assured that leads have been followed up.
He said that police will stay “committed” to the investigation should the facial reconstruction not produce any leads initially.
Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Information can be emailed to [email protected] or submitted through the Major Incident Public Portal (MIPP) via https://mipp.police.uk/operation/SCOT20S26-PO1?fbclid=IwAR0P86RCIC8x2ILbwkAFsACA__iXbVXTBsL0HZHkqQzkcr7GjYJHDO7gtJ4