A fundraiser has been launched in memory of Tillicoultry man Tony Parsons, whose remains were discovered on land near Bridge of Orchy in February after he had been missing for more than three years.
Mr Parsons travelled from his home in Tillicoultry on Friday, September 29, 2017, to Fort William. He had intended to cycle home from there, however, his desperate family never heard from him again and he was reported missing on Monday, October 2, 2017.
He travelled south along the A82 and was last seen at around 11.30pm that night outside of the Bridge of Orchy Hotel.
Police and three mountain rescue teams thoroughly searched various areas along the route in a bid to locate Mr Parsons.
In January this year, specialist search officers, supported by forensic scientists, discovered Mr Parsons’ remains in a remote area of ground close to a farm near the A82 at Bridge of Orchy.
Police this week told the Stirling Observer that enquiries in to Mr Parson’s death are still ongoing.
Now, a fundraiser has been set up in Mr Parsons’ memory for the three mountain rescue teams who spent hours in the days and months following his disappearance searching for him. Those are Killin MRT, Arrochar MRT and Oban MRT.
The Just Giving page was set up with the aim of raising £1500. At the time of print, more than £1700 had been raised.
The fundraising pages says: ‘In his memory we would like to raise funds in appreciation to the volunteers of the three mountain rescue teams who gave up their time and assisted the police in the search for Tony in the days and months after he was reported missing.
‘As a family, we cannot express the amount of thanks and gratitude to these people enough for going out day after day looking for him and trying to bring him home to us.
‘All monies raised will be distributed evenly between Arrochar MRT, Oban MRT and Killin MRT.’
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The funeral for Mr Parsons was held at Stirling Crematorium last week, giving his shattered family some closure.
He had been a long-standing member of Hillfoots Rugby Club. The club took to its Facebook page last week to say: ‘Tony Parsons was many things to Hillfoots Rugby Club – a coach, a player, a supporter and a all round nice person, so this gentleman will be forever remembered.”
In December ast year, two men, both aged 29, were arrested and later released pending further enquiries in connection with the disappearance.
In February this year, Mr Parsons’ heartbroken family issued a statement through Police Scotland. His son Mike said: “The last three years have been incredibly hard for us as a family and for all those who knew my dad.
“We always hoped there would be a positive outcome and have now been left devastated by my dad’s death.
“It is still so hard to comprehend that when he went on his charity bike ride three years ago that was to be the last time we would ever see him.
“He has been deprived of so many family events and it hurts us so much as a family to see his grandchildren grow up without their grandad. Now we know there won’t ever be an opportunity to see him again.
“We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who looked for my dad, for never giving up and for giving us the opportunity to make sure he could come home so we could say our final goodbyes.
“We are extremely grateful to Police Scotland, forensic scientists, all the mountain rescue teams and everyone else involved in the investigation for their work in such difficult conditions and circumstances.
“I know we cannot get closure until we find out who did this and why it happened, so I would ask anyone who may have even the smallest piece of information to please speak to the police and help us get the answers and closure we need.”
To donate to the fundraiser in Mr Parsons’ memory, click here.