FOR almost five-and-a-half years, Alan Templeton’s image appeared on missing person websites as his family appealed for help tracing him after he disappeared from his Edinburgh flat.
But years of not knowing the fate of the 25-year-old came to an end yesterday, when it was confirmed that human remains found in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park last month were his.
The remains were found by a hillwalker on Salisbury Crags on 9 March, sparking a police investigation.
Mr Templeton had been staying with his parents in the Pitlochry area for a few weeks before travelling to Edinburgh.
On the morning of 26 November, 2006, Mr Templeton had left the flat where he was staying in the Newington area of the capital, saying he was popping out for some rolls and would back within the hour.
It was the last time anyone saw him.
Shortly before he vanished, Mr Templeton, who was an aspiring documentary-maker, had returned from France, where he had lived for two years, unwell and depressed.
Confirming his identity yesterday, Lothian and Borders Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.
Writing on a Facebook page set up to help track down Mr Templeton, his sister Kirsten said: “Alan has sadly been found dead in Edinburgh. His identity has now been confirmed by police.
“We would like to thank all of you for all the support you have brought us over the last five-and- a-half years, thank you for being Alan’s friends and for caring.”
Mr Templeton’s funeral will be held on Friday in Edinburgh followed by cremation at Warriston Crematorium. Last night friends left tributes expressing sadness and sympathy to Mr Templeton’s family on the Facebook site. They asked last night that the tributes remained private.
Following his disappearance, family and friends of the man had campaigned tirelessly to keep him in the public eye.
In 2007 Mr Templeton’s friends screened a documentary he had made to mark a year since he disappeared.
His mother, Elizabeth Templeton, appeared in a BBC TV documentary this year talking about the impact of the sudden disappearance of a loved one.
Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive of the charity Missing People, paid tribute to the family.
He said: “The staff and volunteers at Missing People are deeply saddened by the news that Alan Templeton was recently identified after more than five years, and our thoughts and best wishes are with his family at this difficult time.
“The Templeton family’s ordeal highlights the extreme heartache and confusion caused by a loved one going missing, and their tireless campaigning is an inspiration to us all.”
The charity said that it was unusual for somebody to be found in the manner that Mr Templeton was.
The most recent police figures estimate that 200,000 individuals were reported missing to UK forces in 2009-10.
However, Home Office figures suggest that this may be closer to 250,000, on account of people who were not reported or recorded as missing by police.