OFFICERS investigating the disappearance of a Tillicoultry man have "discovered human remains" close to where he was last seen.

Tony Parsons was reported missing more than three years ago, after failing to return home from a cycling trip.

In late December, police made two arrests in connection with their inquiries.

Today, however, a further statement was released detailing the heart-breaking discovery.

Human remains were found during a detailed search of a remote site close to where Tony was last seen.

Police will continue their investigation in the meantime, while formal identification takes place.

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."

Tony Parsons travelled from his home in Tillicoultry, on Friday, 29 September, 2017, to Fort William, intending to return home by bicycle and was reported missing on Monday, 2 October, 2017.

He travelled south on the A82 and was last seen around 11.30pm that night outside the Bridge of Orchy Hotel.

On Tuesday, 12 January, 2021, specialist search officers, supported by forensic scientists, discovered the remains in an area of ground close to a farm near the A82 at Bridge of Orchy.

Officers say that efforts to recover the remains will continue over the coming days before a post mortem is held to formally establish their identity.

The family of Mr Parsons have been made aware of the discovery and officers are in regular contact with them.

Anyone with information can contact Police Scotland via 101, quoting reference 559 of 2 October 2017.

On Wednesday, 30 December, 2020, two men, both aged 29, were arrested and then released pending further enquiries in connection with the disappearance of Mr Parsons. Proceedings remain live under the Contempt of Court Act 1981.