Suzanne Pilley’s parents make emotional TV appeal

Suzanne Pilley. Pic: comp
Suzanne Pilley. Pic: comp
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THE devastated parents of Edinburgh murder victim Suzanne Pilley - whose body has never been found - will make an emotional TV plea for help in finding their daughter’s body.

Rob and Sylvia Pilley hope that the appeal on BBC Crimewatch will uncover new information about the whereabouts of their daughter’s remains.

The 38-year-old book-keeper disappeared in May 2010, and her former lover David Gilroy, 51, is now serving a life sentence for her murder.

The programme on Monday night will feature a reconstruction, showing Ms Pilley, getting off a bus in the city centre and heading to the office she shared with her killer David Gilroy on Thistle Street.

Her mother Sylvia described her daughter as “always smiling” but said that she was now “lying somewhere that nobody knows, as if nobody loved her”.

While she said justice has been done with Gilroy’s conviction, she talked about how devastated she was upon learning “we weren’t going to get her back”.

Telling interviewers that he was the last family member to see her alive, Ms Pilley’s distraught father told how they wanted her body to be found to help give the family some closure.

He told the programme: “The door is just ajar, it’s not fully closed yet, that’s what I’d really like to put closure on it for myself and the rest of my family.”

He described his daughter as being “happy go lucky” person with many friends who loved the outdoor life.

He said: “I was the last one to see her, she said ‘bye dad’ and she gave me a wee peck on the cheek and that was it, that was the last I saw of her.”

His wife added: “I used to worry how she would survive without us, but I never thought we would have to survive without her.”

Detectives who investigated the case believe married Gilroy killed Ms Pilley in the basement of the building on Thistle Street after she broke off their relationship.

Ms Pilley had been seeing someone else before her disappearance and Gilroy, who has a wife and children, was described as possessive.

He had sent her more than 400 text messages in the month leading up to her disappearance but these stopped when she vanished.

Mr Pilley said: “You wouldn’t think a workmate could actually do that in her workplace, and go back upstairs and be sat working again with his colleagues, knowing Suzanne was lying down in the garage.”

They believe he then took her body in the boot of his car and buried it in a secret grave in a remote part of Argyll.

The day after Ms Pilley went missing, Gilroy had driven to Lochgilphead, taking two hours longer than the average journey time, with his return journey taking even longer.

However, an intensive search through remote woodland where it was suspected she had been buried proved fruitless.

The last time Suzanne was seen was on CCTV shortly before 9pm on May 4 2010, as she approached Thistle Street.

Gilroy, who was the first convicted killer to have his sentence filmed for British TV, was ordered to spend at least 18 years in jail for murdering his former lover and disposing of her body.

Passing sentence in April 2012 Judge Lord Bracadale said he hoped the killer would reveal where he left the murdered woman’s remains.

He told Gilroy: “It seems that you are the only person who knows where her body is. I hope that a day will come in your life when you will feel able to disclose that information and that might bring some comfort to her bereft family.”

Earlier this month it was revealed by the Scottish Legal Aid Board that Gilroy had racked up a legal bill of £230000 through his 17-day trial and subsequent appeals.

Crimewatch will be screened on Monday at 9pm on BBC1.