A FORCE watchdog is to investigate Police Scotland’s handling of the disappearance of Saltcoats teenager Jamie Cannon.

Jamie was first reported missing from his home in the Three Towns in May of last year, before his body was discovered nine months later, in February.

He was discovered only two miles from his last sighting, near the old ICI site in Ardeer’s industrial estate.

Police had already searched the area, following the teen’s initial disappearance, and search parties had also combed the area over the course of the following months.

Specialist search dogs had also been involved in the previous police investigation.

The case has now been referred to the Police Investigations and Review commissioner by the Crown Office.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) will conduct the investigation and confirmed on March 28 that: “The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has instructed us to investigate the circumstances of the death of a 20-year-old man from North Ayrshire whose body was discovered near Ardeer on Saturday 26 February 2022.”

Though one source has questioned the timing of this investigation as inappropriate, as it comes so close to a year on from the teen’s initial disappearance.

Following the discovery of a body in Ardeer in late February, police confirmed that they had informed the family of Jamie Cannon.

Police confirmed in the following days that the body was that of the missing teen, and that the death was not being treated as suspicious.

The family thanked all those who had helped and supported them over the previous months, and asked that their privacy was respected.

Family and friends of the late Jamie were finally able to pay their respects that month.

They gathered in Stevenston for a balloon release as part of a weekend event where the community came together to remember the 19-year-old.

Jamie was laid to rest later that month as people paid tribute to “the boy that touched the nation”.

On Jamie’s “final journey” his cortege set off from outside WM Tyre & Son Funeral Directors in Winton Street, later passing along the Saltcoats shore front, South Beach, Ardrossan Academy and onto Ardrossan Cemetery.

The streets were lined by friends and family, giving the teen a fitting send off.

Over £5,000 was donated to an online fundraiser, to assist Jamie’s family with the funeral costs.

The thoughts of everyone at the Herald are with Jamie’s family at this time.