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Father Robert Pilleys Hope in missing Suzanne hunt



Original Source: SUN: SATURDAY 14 AUGUST 2010
By PAUL THORNTON Published: Today

Family in three month Hell

MISSING Suzanne Pilley disappeared as she made her way to work in May - sparking the massive search.

MAY 4: Suzanne is last seen on CCTV footage on the same street as her office before vanishing at 8.55am.

MAY 11: Her worried parents admit they fear "something terrible" has happened.

Investigation ... police hunt

MAY 12: Police investigating the case reveal they

are scouring 300 hours of CCTV.

MAY 16: It emerges the National Policing Improvement Agency experts, the same detectives who searched for Madeleine McCann, have joined the hunt for Suzanne.

MAY 17: Workmates make a plea for information about the book-keeper's disappearance.

MAY 19: Detectives say the case is now a murder probe.

MAY 20: Officers seize a silver coloured saloon car in their search for Suzanne. David Gilroy is questioned.

JUNE 1: Police reveal they are focusing the search on Glen Croe Forest.

JUNE 23: David Gilroy, 47, is charged in connection with Suzanne's suspected murder.

JUNE 24: Gilroy appears at Edinburgh Sheriff Court before being freed on bail.

JUNE 25: Cops say a 42-year-old woman, thought to be Andrea Gilroy, had been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

JULY 1: Gilroy appears at court and is again released after being quizzed by a sheriff in a judicial examination.

AUGUST 8: Detectives insist they have not given up looking for Suzanne's body and announce this weekend's surge to find her.

THE TORMENTED dad of missing Suzanne Pilley last night said "he'd be over the moon" if his daughter's body is found this weekend.

A team of police officers and rescue volunteers will scour a huge forest in the search for suspected murder victim Suzanne over the next two days.

Suzanne's dad Robert Pilley fears he will die before her remains are found and believes it would be best for him and wife Sylvia, 68, if the hunt uncovers her body.

Mr Pilley, 67 - who believes his daughter is dead - said: "I'm hoping that we do find the body and I can put her to rest because I wouldn't like my family to have to do it.

"I know it's maybe the wrong thing to say but I'd probably be over the moon. I know it sounds bad, but I think I would."

"And I think it would really help Sylvia a lot too.

"I just keep on thinking 'Is it going to be one of these things and we're never going to find the body?'


"Then 10 or 15 years later they flush the body out and it'll be left to the rest of the family to lay her to rest, because I probably won't be here to do it myself.

"The shoe should be on the other foot - she should be putting me to rest, not me putting her to rest."

Mr Pilley - who lives with his wife in Stenhouse, Edinburgh - also thinks finding Suzanne's body would allow them to grieve properly for their 38-year-old daughter.

He said: "If we could put a closure to it, maybe the grieving would be a lot better.

"It's just one of these things - we never seem to be able to get to the end of it.

"We just take it day by day. The whole family is just totally devastated. I just don't know when it's going to end.

"The thought that we're never going to see her again - it's really heartbreaking."

Despite his worst fears Mr Pilley confessed he still clings to some hope he may see Suzanne again.

He said: "Even going to the shops, you see a girl going down an aisle, a girl with the same coat on, the same colour of hair, same height.

"Your heart stops for a minute or two."

Book-keeper Suzanne was last seen alive in Edinburgh three months ago.

She failed to turn up for work on May 4 this year after taking a bus to Infrastructure Managers' office in capital.

In June, David Gilroy, 47, was released on bail after appearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court charged with murder and breach of the peace in connection with the probe.

His wife Andrea was charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice but has not appeared in court.

Despite a massive media campaign and extensive searches Suzanne has never been found.But a search party hope to find evidence when they comb the Argyll Forest today.


Mr Pilley said: "I'm hoping at the weekend we can come up with something. It's taken a lot of organising and I really feel we've got hope they can find something."

And he said he lives in hope of the smallest clue to Suzanne's disappearance coming to light.

He said: "I often think they're going to find the bottle that she had in her hand on the bus.

"I know it sounds stupid but if they could even find that just to give a clue of somewhere that she is.

"Like everything else, it just seems to have disappeared."

Lothian and Borders Police have already taken Suzanne's parents - who have another daughter, Gail, 44 - to Argyll to see the terrain they are searching.

But Mr Pilley said he will remain at home this weekend.

He said: "They took us all around there, it took all day, and I realise what kind of task the police have got to find Suzanne.

"All you see are trees but you don't realise there are roads in these trees. I've had a lot of people say they should just do a complete search, get civilians in.


"I appreciate all these volunteers are coming out and giving up their weekend to go and search for Suzanne. Hopefully they'll find something."



Volunteers from Arrochar, Lomond, Oban and Tweed Valley mountain rescue squads will join police search teams for this weekend's effort.

Up to 100 people in total will be involved, with searches focusing on the Glencroe area.

Lead officer in the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Gary Flannigan, said the volunteers' help will be essential.

DCI Flannigan said: "Since Suzanne was reported missing, searches have been based on national advice and guidance on the most appropriate techniques for covering such a vast area of varied terrain.

"This search is no different, with expert advisers pinpointing the areas to be covered.

"We are very grateful for the support of the mountain rescue volunteers who are giving up their time to assist our inquiry. Their specialist knowledge will be a valuable resource for us."


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