Police in Scotland and north of England search for retired teacher’s body

Detectives are searching land in the Scottish Borders and the north of England for the body of a retired teacher from Sir Tony Blair’s former school.

Two men have been charged with the murder of Peter Coshan, but investigators have still not found the 75-year-old’s body almost three weeks since he was last seen in Edinburgh.

On Wednesday, detectives were combing land in the north of England in an attempt to find the body of the retired Fettes College biology teacher.

Detective Superintendent Andrew Patrick from Police Scotland said the search, more than 80 miles away from where Mr Coshan was last seen in Seafield Road in the Scottish capital on August 11, came after “extensive inquiries”, with officers searching a “significant area”.

He said: “We are following the evidence to focusing on specific areas and searching through those areas one at a time in a structured and organised manner, with specialists from Police Scotland, our search partners, and really deploying all available resources in an effort to find Peter.”

Peter Coshan death
Police searching an area of woodland between Kirkwhelpington and Belsay, off the A696 in the north of England (Dan Barker/PA)

The former biology teacher taught at the famous school in the city until 2005, when he retired.

Mr Patrick said he could not confirm how many officers were currently involved in the search for Mr Coshan’s body.

“This is obviously a very distressing time for Peter’s family and our priority is to find him,” he said.

“I’m appealing for anyone who may have been in the Scottish Borders and Northumberland, including travelling on the A7 or A68, or any other roads in these areas, during the hours of darkness on either Monday August 15 or Tuesday August 16 this year.”

“That evening and the early morning was at the end of very hot weather that we have had and there was a warning for thunderstorms and I would ask anyone who’s been in those areas to think back to that time.

“You may remember it because of the hot, unusual weather conditions and the thunderstorms that we had.

“I believe the areas of the Scottish Borders and Northumberland are key to helping us find Peter.”

Detectives are hunting for information about a “black or dark coloured 57 plate Vauxhall Vectra” that may have been seen in and around the area.

“Did you see something odd or out of place. You notice a car parked somewhere, or even off road? Do you remember anything which struck you as odd at the time?

“I’m also keen to speak to anybody who travelled those areas regularly and has a dash cam. Please check the footage as it may have captured something which could prove vital in our ongoing inquiries to locate Peter.”

Paul Black, 63, also known as Joseph Hillary, and Paul McNaughton, 27, have both appeared in court charged with the murder of Mr Coshan.

Black and McNaughton appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on August 18, with the pair also charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice and theft.

They made no plea when they appeared in private at the court.