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Investigators hope new image will help solve 11 year riddle

A man was found dead in October 2011, but investigators have not been able to identify him.

24 January 2023

Investigators hope a new computer generated image of a man found dead in woodland will finally help solve the more than decade old mystery of who he is.

Found dead near Balmore Golf Club, in East Dunbartonshire, on October 16, 2011, police have been unable to identify the man despite extensive inquiries and appeals.

It is thought he could have been dead for up to six months before he was discovered.

computer generated clothing of man found dead
The man was found dead in 2011, but his identity remains a mystery (Glasgow Caledonian University)

But on Tuesday, investigators at the Scottish Cold Case Unit at Glasgow Caledonian University released a new facial reconstruction and three dimensional images of the man’s clothing in a fresh bid to solve the 11-year puzzle.

There were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the man’s death, who detectives have estimated as between 25- and 34-years-old, but forensic analysis has revealed he suffered injuries before his death which may have affected his appearance, quality of life, and gait.

Dr Maureen Taylor, co-director of the cold case unit, said: “We know he had a chip to one of his front teeth and injuries to his nose and jaw that he sustained in the months leading to his death.

“These injuries were not only left untreated, but would have caused him significant pain.

“We also believe that he may have walked with a limp or had difficulty walking.”

Investigators said the white European man was between 5ft 8 and 6ft 1 tall, of slight build, with light-coloured hair.

And he was discovered wearing a blue Top Man T-shirt with a maroon diagonal stripe on the front, a blue zipped cardigan bearing the logo Greek Pennsylvania, light-coloured jeans and black waterproof walking shoes, commonly bought in Lidl.

In a nearby Nike messenger-type bag investigators found a number of items including toiletries, clothes, headphones, chargers, a lighter, and cigarette papers.

The images were produced by the University of Dundee and are being shown online alongside photos of the man’s belongings and drone footage of the woodland, close to Golf Course Road, where his body was found.

Professor Lesley McMillan, co-director of the unit which did the work in partnership with missing persons’ charity Locate International, said she hoped “someone will recognise his clothing or his belongings and help us establish who he is”.

“The Cold Case Unit has spent the last 18 months gathering as much detail as we can to progress this case,” she said.

Anyone who recognised the man can contact the cold case unit on 0141 331 3235 or contact Police Scotland on 101.

Detective Inspector Kenny McDonald, of Greater Glasgow Division, said: “This is a long term inquiry examining the circumstances of unidentified human remains, and a detailed forensic review of all physical matter has been conducted.

“This includes revisiting the recovery site, creating facial reconstruction imaging, and liaising with the UK’s Missing Persons Unit.”

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