Beach human remains confirmed as Duncan
POLICE: Confirmation comes three months after student disappeared
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.
Duncan Sim, 19, from Duns, was a first-year chemistry student at St Andrews University.