Fresh bid to solve decade-old mystery of body found in Scottish woodland

Investigators release a new facial reconstruction image of man found dead in woodland just outside Glasgow in 2011
Investigators release a new facial reconstruction image of man found dead in woodland just outside Glasgow in 2011

COLD case investigators have released a new facial reconstruction image in an effort to identify a man whose body was found in woods outside Glasgow more than 11 years ago.

Mystery surrounds the discovery of human remains in woodland near Balmore Golf Club, East Dunbartonshire, on October 16, 2011. There were no suspicious circumstances but despite previous appeals and extensive inquiries, police have so far been unable to establish his identity.

In a fresh attempt to solve the case, investigators at the Scottish Cold Case Unit at Glasgow Caledonian University, in partnership with missing persons charity Locate International, have released a new facial reconstruction and 3D images of the man’s clothing. The images, produced by the University of Dundee, are being showcased online alongside photos of the man’s belongings and drone footage of the woodland near Golf Course Road where his body was found.

Forensic analysis has revealed the man suffered injuries before his death which may have affected his appearance, quality of life and gait.

It’s estimated he was aged between 25-34, 5ft 8in to 6ft 1in tall and of slight build. He was white European, with light-coloured hair.

Dr Maureen Taylor, co-director of the Scottish Cold Case Unit at the university, said: “The team has been making inquiries around the clothing he was wearing and his belongings, a geographical profile of the location.

“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 he may have had a limp or had difficulty walking.”

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

Personal items including toiletries, clothes, headphones, chargers, a lighter, and cigarette papers were found in a Nike messenger-type bag near his body. It’s thought the man could have been dead for up to six months by the time his body was found.

Professor Lesley McMillan, co-director of the unit, which is made up of criminology students and academic staff, said: “We hope the information and images in our appeal jog someone’s memory. The Cold Case Unit has spent the last 18 months gathering as much detail as we can to progress this case. We would encourage anyone with information that might be relevant, no matter how small, to please get in touch with us.”

Detective Inspector Kenny McDonald, of Greater Glasgow Division, said: “With the support of Glasgow Caledonian, I hope this new image will offer fresh leads which could help to identify the man and bring closure to any members of his family.”

Anyone with information can email ColdCaseUnit@gcu.ac.uk or phone on 0141 331 3235. Full details of the case and a form that can be completed anonymously are available at locate.international/balmore-man-appeal-2023/ Alternatively, contact Police Scotland on 101.