Police have said that the body of Tony Parsons has been found in an area of farmland on a remote Highland estate near where the cyclist was last sighted more than three years ago.
Parsons, from Tillicoultry, Stirlingshire, was last seen at around 11.30pm on the evening of Friday 29 September 2017 outside the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, Argyll & Bute.
Mr Parsons, a retired petty officer in the Royal Navy, had travelled by train from his home to Fort William, from where he set out on a 104-mile charity bike ride back to Tillicoultry. He was reported missing on Monday 2 September 2017.
Repeated searches and appeals revealed no trace of either Mr Parsons, aged 63 at the time of his appearance, or his bike.
However, the case took a new turn a fortnight ago, with Police Scotland arresting two men, both aged 29, on 30 December in relation to his disappearance.
They have since been released pending further enquiries, but Police Scotland said yesterday that proceedings are now live under the Contempt of Court Act 1981.
Last week, a major police incident site was set up a farm yard on the Auch Estate near Bridge of Orchy in connection with the investigation.
Police have now said that on Tuesday 12 January, specialist search officers, supported by forensic scientists, found human remains at the location.
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Somerville, from Police Scotland’s Major Investigations Team, said: “This is clearly a significant development and extensive work is ongoing to recover the remains and confirm their identity.
“We have informed Mr Parsons’ family, who are being supported by specialist officers. The thoughts of everyone involved in the investigation are with them at this difficult time.”
He added: “The investigation into Mr Parsons’ disappearance continues and I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has assisted our enquiries so far and again urge anyone who may be able to help to come forward.”
Anyone who has information is asked to contact Police Scotland via 101, quoting reference 559 of 2 October 2017.
Please note that we are unable to accept comments on this story.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.