Human remains have been found in searches at a Highland farm for a cyclist who went missing more than three years ago.
Tony Parsons was reported missing in October 2017 after travelling from his home in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, to Fort William, before aiming to cycle home.
Searches last week homed in on a farm near Bridge of Orchy, with police blocking off roads and setting up cordons.
Mr Parsons had travelled south on the A82 Inverness to Glasgow road to Bridge of Orchy, and was last seen outside the village’ hotel at around 11.30pm on October 2, 2017.
Police have now confirmed the specialist search team have found human remains in an area close to a farm just off the A82.
Police say efforts to recover the remains will continue over the coming days before a post-mortem can be conducted to establish their identity.
However, the family of Mr Parsons have been made aware.
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Somerville 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.
“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.”
Two men, both aged 29, were arrested and released pending further inquiries on Wednesday December 30, 2020 in connection with the disappearance of Mr Parsons.
Anybody with any information is urged to contact police on 101.
“We knew he was last here”
A member of staff at Bridge of Orchy Hotel, who asked not to be named, said: “I was here when the man went missing three years ago. We knew he was last here and he cycled towards Tyndrum before he disappeared. That’s all we know.
“It was a former colleague of mine who served Mr Parsons a coffee before he set out that night.
“He was advised to stay and that the road could be dangerous, but he said he was going to Tyndrum.”
His son Mike appealed for information last year, on the third anniversary of his disappearance. At that time he said: “None of us ever dreamt that three years ago my dad would have gone on his charity bike ride and we would never see him again.
“As a result my family and I have been left with so many unanswered questions that we have to live with every single day about where he is.
“As each special family occasion passes and seeing his grandchildren growing up without their grandad, it reminds us of the harsh reality of him not being here.
“I would ask that if you have any information, no matter how small, please contact the police as it may help to provide us the help and answers we’re looking for.”
A number of specialist police resources, including the mountain rescue team, air support and dog units have been involved in searches during the last three years.