Police have confirmed a body found in woodland is that of missing student David O’Halloran.
The 18-year-old disappeared after a night-out with friends in Stirling city centre more than three months ago.
A body was discovered in a wooded area above Bridge of Allan on April 18 and a spokesman for Police Scotland confirmed yesterday (Wednesday) it is that of the first-year maths student.
The family of Mr O’Halloran, who attended the University of Stirling, launched a campaign to help find him after he vanished, appealing for the public’s help via social network sites Facebook and Twitter.
On the Facebook page, a post believed to be from Mr O’Halloran’s mother Donna, from Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, said a celebration of his life will be held at nearby Stewarton sports centre on May 11 because “David loved his tennis so much”.
A previous message attributed to his family said: “Our hearts are broken but they have been broken since the beginning, as we knew our boy and knew 100% that he had not run away, he loved us too much to ever even have thought of that.”
David’s father Alan McInnes said: “As a parent I have had to face the early death of my son, David.
“I chose to keep hope alive for myself, my parents and for David’s aunts and uncles, brother and big and little sisters.
“These past three months have been long and challenging, stressful and filled with worry and hope in equal measure.
“My son is irreplaceable. Without him our family will be incomplete.”
A statement on the University of Stirling’s website said: “We are deeply saddened by the confirmation from Police Scotland today that the body discovered on April 18 is indeed that of our missing student David O’Halloran.
“David was a popular and promising student who will be missed across the university community. Our thoughts are with his family and everyone affected at this time.”
The university has launched a new safe taxi scheme this week, which allows students who do not have enough money to get home from nights-out during term time to use their matriculation card and signature as a deposit for the fare.
The initiative has been developed by Stirling’s Students’ Union, 12 local taxi companies, police and Stirling Council.