Quite where do police want campers and walkers to look for Suzanne Pilley’s body

Police have committed to a continuing search for the missing body of Edinburgh woman, Suzanne Pilley, whose former lover, David Gilroy, has been convicted of her murder.

What is certain is that the focus is Argyll – but the territory under consideration is very large; and the police  and the national media are between them, giving out confused and confusing descriptions.

The story at first was that electronic mobile phone data showed that Gilroy’s car spent time in the Rest and Be Thankful area, hence Glen Croe, Hells Glen and Ardgartan became key focal points for sustained but fruitless searches.

Then Glen Orchy was mentioned as a possibility.

During the Gilroy trial which led to his conviction on Thursday 15th March 2012, two matters were brought to the attention of the jury:

CCTV and other electronic evidence showed that Gilroy’s journey from Edinburgh to and through Argyll on 5th May 2010, the day before the Westminster General Election, had taken an inordinately long time in the Argyll element of his trip. Particular attention was paid to the length of time he spent between Tyndrum and Inveraray. This is obviously where Glen Orchy came into the picture.

Evidence was also given that offices examining Gilroy’s car found it virtually undrivable, with parts of its undercarriage broken and vegetation lodged amongst it. Both of these factors were reasonably taken to show that the car had been driven on tough offroad terrain.

Assuming that some of this vegetation will have had soil samples clinging to it, were forensic tests of the soil type or types carried out?

The problem is, though, that despite the weight of attention now being paid to the territory between Tyndrum and Inveraray, Rest and Be Thankful is still being kept on the picture.

This is confusing for those walkers and campers who might, as asked, keep their eyes open.

Rest and Be Thankful, even if one interprets generously the area that it covers, is nowhere bear the territory between Tyndrum and Inveraray. It is a minimum of 15 minutes by car away to the  east of Inveraray.

Today’s edition of The Herald describes the time lapse and the territory thus:

‘The missing time came between Tyndrum and Inveraray, a stretch of just more than 25 miles, and which is surrounded by vast tracts of woodland, and difficult terrain running alongside the banks of Loch Fyne.’

Anyone who can find exactly where the road from Tyndrum to Inveraray  runs ‘alongside the banks of Loch Fyne’ will be in a position to show up the Ordnance Survey mappers as a bunch of numpties.

Clarity please.

In the interests of Ms Pilley’s devastated family, if this is a serious request for observation from the walking and camping public,  the information needs to be accurate.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • Well spotted; not only is the most direct route between Tyndrum and Inveraray nowhere near the Rest, there are other routes unless it’s certain that the car went through Inveraray. And the state of the car seems to indicate it either went off the edge of a road – without getting irredeemably stuck – or it went along a hill track or along a stretch of forestry road that had been abandoned or never completed. A great deal of ‘if’s, and a definitive statement from the police would surely be sensible to avoid unnecessary public concern.

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    Robert Wakeham March 17, 2012 4:45 pm Reply
  • While it would be highly desirable for Suzanne Pilley’s body to be found, not least to help alleviate the inconceivable distress that her family must be suffering, I am quite sure that the police do not want to provide sufficiently accurate enough information to spark off an unofficial public search of a specific area.
    While possibly assisting in locating the body, it would more probably result in destruction of vital clues, thus delaying any find further, and may even attract some questionably motivated people.
    When the authorities are in a position to pin down a specific area (and they will be working on this) I am sure that they will conduct a methodical search, possibly enlisting public assistance at that point.
    In the meantime, encouraging private searches may be with honourable intentions, but could have negative results.

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    Neil Manchester March 18, 2012 6:26 am Reply
    • One’s first thought is why on earth are the police asking the public to help at all.

      Then one wonders if the fact of conviction means that the priority is – reasonably – finding Suzanne Pilley for her family’s sake.

      But then why not give the public accurate guidelines to know whether or not they’re in an area that might be worth – not searching – but keeping their eyes open.

      Overall, this invitation to the public seems no more than half thought.

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      newsroom March 18, 2012 9:52 pm Reply
  • I travel on this stretch of road between Inverary and Tyndrum several times per year. I have often thought that the police should be looking there rather than at the Rest and be Thankful. There are numerous rough tracks leading from the Inverary to Tyndrum stetch of road which could be used by a car at a push.
    I think that the collecting of bin liners from the janitorial staff at Lochgilphead School by David Gilroy was a red herring to divert the police into searching for the body at the Rest and be Thankful.
    In my opinion the road between Inverary and Tyndrum is not a popular areas for dog walkers hence the reason that the body has not been found.

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    Treble T March 18, 2012 2:06 pm Reply
    • Some confusion here? Why should bin liners have anything to do with which road was travelled?

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      Robert Wakeham March 18, 2012 4:47 pm Reply
  • David Gilroy collected bin liners prior to leaving Lochgilphead on his return journey to Edinburgh. Lothian & Borders police assumed that the bin liners were for covering the Suzanne Piley’s body prior to disposal somewhere aroung the Rest and be Thankful area.

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    Treble T March 18, 2012 7:37 pm Reply
    • Why shouldn’t the bin liners have been used anywhere, why do you think they were a red herring? The very fact that he obtained them in Lochgilphead increased suspicion – and wasn’t the search on the Rest route reportedly based on mobile phone records? Why do you link the bin liners specifically to the Rest?

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      Robert Wakeham March 18, 2012 8:30 pm Reply
  • According to the court case David Gilroy took an unusual route from Edinburgh to Lochgilphead. He travelled via Tyndrum and Inverary taking two hours to complete the Tyndrum to Inverary section which is a lot longer than normal. The distance between Tyndrum and Inverary is 32 miles which should take about 45 minutes maximum to complete by car.
    I think that David Gilroy dumped Suzanne Pilley’s body between Tyndrum and Inverary before travelling on to Lochgilphead. He then asked for black bin liners to give the impression that he had dumped the body at the Rest and be Thankful. I have also driven several times on the A83 over the Rest and be Thankful. One thing is certain. There are a lot more rough tracks leading off the Tyndrum to Inverary road than there are on the main A83 at Rest and be Thankful. The Rest and be Thankful area is well frequented by hill walkers whereas the few people walk on the tracks off the Tyndrum to Inverary road.

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    Treble T March 18, 2012 9:09 pm Reply
    • ????? Why would he ask for binliners at all? Why not just go home?

      I’m with you on the dogwalkers though, that will be the answer in the end.

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      Alison March 20, 2012 3:04 pm Reply
  • You assume that, because of the sighting at Tyndrum (and presumably at Inveraray?) – combined with the police search around the Rest – that the answer is east of Inveraray, rather than on the Lochgilphead side, or elsewhere.
    That’s why I think it would be sensible of the police to state clearly what is, and isn’t, known about where Gilroy was known to have been, and at what time. This could save people from getting the wrong ideas about where the body might be. This isn’t the first, or the second, time someone who’s been murdered has been dumped in Argyll in the last few decades.

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    Robert Wakeham March 18, 2012 9:42 pm Reply
  • If I was organising a search for Suzanne Pilley’s body I would ask dog owners to take their dogs for a walk down every road or track that leads off the Tyndrum to Inverary road as dogs have a very keen sense of smell and are more likely to find a body.

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    Treble T March 19, 2012 12:35 am Reply
    • By the way, it’s Inveraray.

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      Robert Wakeham March 19, 2012 8:28 am Reply
  • Thank you for correcting my mistake.

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    Treble T March 19, 2012 2:25 pm Reply
  • I don’t know all the facts…like which way the car was heading in the CCTV…but If nobody has yet done it, somebody should have look in the forestry areas on the N side of the road between Tyndrum and the turn off to Inveraray near Dalmally (on the A85 ) dense young conifers and loads of access points…no campers, no access to any popular hill’s and definately no dog walkers. (good forest to see Goldcrests and the likes)

    Folk in Glen Orchy would most likely notice a passing car.

    Suppose he could have driven down the A82 and then along A83 ?

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    Karl Hughes March 21, 2012 1:31 pm Reply
    • Could have driven a whole variety of routes as far as anyone seems to know.

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      Robert Wakeham March 21, 2012 1:39 pm Reply
  • I have e-mailed L&B about times and direction of travel at Inveraray and still no answer.He turned off phone so how can they know where he stopped the area between port sonachan and ford would be my focus for The search

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    Dougie April 18, 2012 10:50 pm Reply
  • Please clear up a few things for me,first of all why do the police think that the rest and be thankful route is involved at all.Secondly do we know which route he took on his return journey from Lochgilphead to Edinburgh.Im so confused by the routes and timing parts of his journey to try and at least rule out where he didnt dump the body,thanks.

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    W.SCOTT April 19, 2012 9:50 pm Reply
  • How do we know what journey he dumped the body was it to or from Inveraray,WHERE ARE THE TIME SCALES.

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    W.SCOTT April 19, 2012 9:57 pm Reply
  • why is rest and be thankfull route included,please help me figure this out.

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    w.scott April 19, 2012 10:05 pm Reply
  • If i get the time scales and routes im sure i will be able to find the body of this poor soul,help me help the family.

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    w.scott April 19, 2012 10:08 pm Reply
  • Was he spotted travelling from lochgilphead to inveraray.

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    w.scott April 19, 2012 10:35 pm Reply

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