AN INVESTIGATION to find the remains of a woman brutally murdered in West Kilbride more than a decade ago continues, according to police, despite a recent search of a site in Argyll proving unsuccessful.

Police Scotland announced back in March of this year that they would be launching a search, just off the B836 in West Cowal near Dunoon, to establish whether Lynda Spence’s remains may be buried in the area.

The force then provided a further update in May, stating they had begun digging in the remote area of Argyll.

The Herald reported just over a week ago that police had "no further updates" regarding the investigation, and detective superintendent Suzanne Chow has now confirmed that no new evidence has come to light as a result of the search and subsequent dig.

READ MORE: Lynda Spence: ‘No updates’ in police investigation after three months

She said: “Extensive enquiries have been carried out at this site since March 2022, involving Police Scotland officers, specialist search teams and forensic scientists from across the United Kingdom.

“The final searches have now been completed and, unfortunately, we have not recovered Lynda's remains or any new evidence.

“This was a lengthy and complex operation due to the remote location and I would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts.

“Lynda’s family have been informed of this development and ask that their privacy is respected during this difficult time.

“The investigation to find Lynda’s remains continues and I would ask anyone with information to please come forward and speak to officers.”

READ MORE: Lynda Spence: Detective recalls challenges of West Kilbride case

The murder of Ms Spence, back in spring 2011, was one of the biggest cases in recent Scottish history.

After being lured from her Glasgow flat, the 27-year-old was taken to a property in West Kilbride, where she was tortured daily for almost two weeks.

Inside the flat she was held using a torture kit made up of garden loppers, bandages and surgical tape, which was used on her in a bid to extract financial information.

She was burned with an iron, hit with a golf club, her toes were crushed, her thumb was cut off and one of her fingers severed.

When speaking exclusively to a detective that worked on the Spence case, the Herald was told: "The Lynda Spence enquiry had an added challenge, in that the remains, to date, have never been found.

“I have never researched it, but to the best of my knowledge, I can only recall three murder enquiries in Scotland in the last couple of decades where this was the case and the enquiry still led to a successful conviction.”

READ MORE: Lynda Spence murder: Police to search land near Dunoon in hunt for remains

Colin Coats and Philip Wade were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2013 for the murder of Lynda Spence, receiving minimum jail terms of 33 years and 30 years respectively - two of the longest handed out by Scottish courts.

Prosecutors have been unable to say exactly when or how she was murdered, but Coats boasted to a cellmate that he smothered her, cut off her head and burnt her remains in a furnace. Ms Spence's body was never recovered.