Beach hu­man re­mains con­firmed as Dun­can

PO­LICE: Con­fir­ma­tion comes three months af­ter stu­dent dis­ap­peared

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS - Sarah vesty

Hu­man re­mains found on a beach in St An­drews have been for­mally iden­ti­fied as miss­ing stu­dent Dun­can Sim.

The tragic con­fir­ma­tion came on the three-month an­niver­sary of the 19-yearold dis­ap­pear­ing from the East Neuk town fol­low­ing a night out with friends.

Mr Sim, who is orig­i­nally from the Scot­tish Borders, was last seen on March 14 out­side the Madras Rugby Club on Old Sta­tion Road.

The alarm was raised and a ma­jor search launched af­ter he failed to re­turn to his stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion at Agnes Black­ad­der Hall.

Spe­cial­ist re­sources in­clud­ing po­lice dogs, an air sup­port unit and the dive and marine unit took part in the ex­ten­sive search. More than 100 vol­un­teers from his home­town of Duns also took part.

Hu­man re­mains were found in the wa­ter on June 3 in the West Sands area which was cor­doned off for sev­eral days.

Dun­can’s fam­ily paid tribute to their loved one, who was a first-year chem­istry stu­dent at St An­drews Univer­sity, in a state­ment re­leased through Po­lice Scot­land yes­ter­day.

They said: “We are heart­bro­ken by the loss of Dun­can, our much loved son, brother, un­cle and friend.

“We are very grate­ful for all the sup­port that we re­ceived from the pub­lic, es­pe­cially the Fife and Scot­tish Borders com­mu­ni­ties, dur­ing the search for Dun­can.

“We would also like to ex­tend our thanks to Po­lice Scot­land for their ef­forts and sup­port through­out the course of their in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“We re­spect­fully re­quest pri­vacy at this dif­fi­cult time.”

The death is be­ing treated as un­ex­plained but not sus­pi­cious, and a re­port has been sub­mit­ted to the procu­ra­tor fis­cal.

Chief In­spec­tor Steven Hamil­ton, lo­cal area com­man­der for north-east Fife, said: “This has been a ter­ri­ble loss of a young man’s life and our thoughts and con­do­lences are with Dun­can’s fam­ily and friends.”

St An­drews Univer­sity prin­ci­pal and vice-chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor Sally Map­stone wrote to all stu­dents and staff to break the sad news about Dun­can.

“I know that Dun­can’s loss will be widely felt across our small com­mu­nity and be­yond, and all the more acutely be­cause by all ac­counts he was some­one who had so much prom­ise, and had been living his life to the full,” she said.

“If there is any com­fort to be taken from to­day’s news, it is in the fact that the long search for him is over.

“Af­ter March 14, his class­mates would not change their seats, the chair that Dun­can had oc­cu­pied re­main­ing va­cant, a sign of quiet hope that he would be back to fill it.

“I know that we will all to­day be think­ing again of Dun­can’s fam­ily, his mum and dad Sheila and Gor­don, and brothers and sis­ter, who have shown such courage and dig­nity dur­ing the un­speak­ably dif­fi­cult weeks since his dis­ap­pear­ance.”

She said stu­dent ser­vices had been in touch with Dun­can’s class­mates and friends and will re­main avail­able.

svesty@the­courier.co.uk

Dun­can Sim, 19, from Duns, was a first-year chem­istry stu­dent at St An­drews Univer­sity.

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