A CRACK unit of forensic investigators has been drafted in to help identify the Gosford House remains, the Evening News has learned.
Police have started to recover human bones found near the Longniddry stately home on Sunday evening by a cyclist.
Forensic anthropologists and archeologists from Dundee University are on site – a team which helped solve the brutal murder of Philomena Dunleavy in 2013.
“We are consulting with a number of experts to ensure that the remains are recovered in a sensitive and careful manner and no evidence that helps us to establish what happened is damaged or missed,” said Detective Superintendent Pat Campbell.
The family of missing Louise Tiffney has been contacted by police following the discovery.
Single mother Louise, 43, vanished 15 years ago and her family always believed she was killed and her body buried at Gosford.
She was last seen leaving her home in Dean Path, Edinburgh, on May 27, 2002. Louise’s son, Sean Flynn, then 21, was charged with her murder in 2005 but walked free after a jury returned a not proven verdict.
Dundee University’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification are considered world leaders in their field.
They helped solve the Philomena Dunleavy case after the 66-year-old’s dismembered body was found in a shallow grave on Corstorphine Hill.
A team of cranial identification experts from Dundee used CT scans to reconstruct a virtual image of Mrs Dunleavy to help identify her. Her son James, 41, was convicted of culpable homicide due to diminished responsibility at Edinburgh High Court in January 2014.
The court heard from a psychiatrist that Dunleavy killed his mother thinking her to be a reptile while suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. He was sentenced to nine years.
Up to 40 officers have been working on the Gosford House find, including biologists and forensic examiners.
“I understand the anxiety of those who may be waiting for news of a missing loved one, but whilst the identity of the remains is unknown we cannot speculate,” said Det Supt Campbell.
He said that once the remains are identified, family members would be contacted.
“I want to again reassure the public that when we have new information we will act upon it and inform the next of kin of any person who is relevant to the investigation; this has been taking place and updates have been given,” said Det Supt Campbell.
“The death is being treated as unexplained and once the remains are recovered, there will be significant, detailed forensic analysis required to establish the cause of death and whether any crime has been committed.”
Chief Inspector Matt Paden said: “We’re supporting the specialist teams involved in the recovery and the investigation, and are committed to returning the area to normal as soon as our inquiries have finished.”
Senior figures at Dundee University said they would not comment on an ongoing case.