Hopes the mystery of Louise Tiffney’s murder could finally be solved come as forensics make a breakthrough with soil samples.
A source told a Sunday newspaper soil from the site where Ms Tiffney’s body was discovered in the grounds of Gosford House could lead to the case being solved 16 years after her murder.
It is understood soil from the site has been matched conclusively to soil samples harvested during the original investigation, the Mail on Sunday reported.
The source said: “When the case was first brought to trial, no body had been recovered. There was a compelling case, but without a body there will always be doubt.
“Now a body has been recovered which constitutes fresh evidence, but it has also provided opportunities that were not there before – such as the possibility of recovering DNA from the victim’s clothing and the potential to match relevant soil samples with the deposition site.
“Forensic tests and other investigations are still being conducted, but detectives have reached the stage of informing the Crown of considerable progress and are seeking direction on what more they need to take the case for trial.”
Single mother Ms Tiffney, 43, vanished from her Dean Village home in 2002 in a case that shocked the Capital.
A cyclist stumbled across Ms Tiffney’s remains on a secluded patch of scrubland on the Gosford House estate on April 2 last year – just yards from the A198.
The window dresser was last seen leaving her home in Dean Path, on May 27, 2002.
Her family always believed she was killed and her body buried at Gosford but a police search back in 2002 turned up nothing.
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.
A copy of Ms Tiffney’s death certificate states the cause as “unascertained pending investigation.”
Leading forensic soil expert Professor Lorna Dawson, who helped bring the infamous World’s End killer, Angus Sinclair, to justice after several decades, has been key to the reinvestigation.
Heading the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, the “soil sleuth” and her team have helped put some of the UK’s most evil killers behind bars by unearthing vital hidden clues.
Advances in science mean instead of needing at least a thimbleful of soil to make an analysis, Prof Dawson can work with the equivalent of six grains of sugar.
The source added that in light of the soil sample discovery detectives are waiting for the go ahead from Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC to bring the case to trial and officers “remain confident” that the case can now be solved and bring some relief to Louise Tiffney’s loved ones.
Police Scotland confirmed a report had been submitted to the procurator fiscal.
A spokesman for the Crown Office said: “Given this is a live investigation, it would not be appropriate to comment at this time.”