THE husband of an American tourist missing in Scotland for nine weeks has broken his silence and said she walked out after a row.
Susan McLean, 61, was last seen outside the grounds of the luxury Moness holiday resort, in the Highland Perthshire town of Aberfeldy.
Husband Donald has now told how his wife walked off after an argument. He has hired private investigators to find her.
He said: “Susan and I had a disagreement about dinner following our return from the Yew Pub in Fortingall.
“So, being upset, she left the lodge to go for a walk to cool off, something she often did to clear her head.”
Donald said it was normal for his wife to go walking on her own, something she had done the previous week while they holidayed in Oban.
The couple and their two grown-up sons, James and also Donald, had spent the day of May 17 touring the sights in the region before returning to their lodge for an evening meal.
However, following an argument, Susan left the resort on her own to go for a walk.
The last confirmed sighting of the horse-riding instructor was on CCTV at 7.45pm.
Her family became concerned when she did not return after several hours and raised the alarm.
He added that he has taken his own steps to further the investigation into Susans disappearance.
“I stayed on in Scotland for more than a week after sending my sons home, to search and work with the police,” he said.
“I hired a private investigator as well in order to further the search for Susan.”
He and his operatives are still searching for her.
He also revealed that the family was due to move from their Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania home to the state of South Carolina in the next few weeks, after his imminent retirement from the United States Department of Agriculture.
The couple are due to celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary in August.
A long-time friend of the McLeans has also flown into Scotland to help search for Susan.
Lorna VanderZanden plans to speak to locals and search the area in a bid to find out what happened to Susan.
Lorna became friends with Susan while she and Donald were serving as US Army vets at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Police Scotland has conducted door-to-door interviews, stopped motorists and deployed dogs, divers and helicopters.
Tayside Mountain Rescue has also helped in the search. Residents in Aberfeldy have been urged to check sheds and garages for any sign of Susan.
Chief Inspector Ian Scott said: “The more searches we do, the fewer places we have left to search where’s there any indication Susan may have gone.”