A man found dead in a burn beside Carnoustie’s famous golf course was a serving police officer, force bosses said today.
Tributes have been paid to PC Dean Morrison, of Police Scotland’s Tayside Division.
His body was found in Barry Burn, near Carnoustie Golf Hotel, around 12.40pm on Sunday.
Police earlier said there are no apparent suspicious circumstances surrounding his death but that it is being treated as unexplained.
They also appealed for a taxi driver who had dropped off PC Morrison in Carnoustie on Saturday night to come forward.
PC Morrison had served with Tayside Police and then the amalgamated single force for a total of 16 years.
Senior officers described Dean, who served his entire career in Dundee, as a “highly respected officer”.
Police, firefighters, paramedics and an RNLI lifeboat responded to reports of a man being found at the scene on Sunday afternoon.
PC Morrison’s body was recovered during the three-hour operation.
Chief Superintendent Andrew Todd, Divisional Commander for Tayside Division said: “Dean was a highly respected officer, who was extremely well liked and popular with his colleagues. He was thoroughly professional in his work.
“His death is a great tragedy and he will be sadly missed by all who knew him and we will do all we can to support them during this distressing time.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
“We ask that you respect their privacy at this difficult time.”
DI Birnie added: “We need to speak to a taxi driver who we believe picked him up at 11.13pm on Saturday 15 December in Fort Street/Brook Street in Broughty Ferry and dropped him off in Carnoustie.
“The taxi was a black people carrier style vehicle, with a sliding rear door and an orange light on the roof.
“If this was you, or you know the identity of the taxi driver, then we need to speak to you urgently.
“Please get in touch with us on 101 quoting reference 1960 of 16 December.”
Residents told of their shock at the find.
Donna Beattie, whose house looks out towards the beach, walked over with her daughter when she heard the sirens.
She said: “There was a crowd of people on the beach alongside the police officers. I couldn’t get close and properly see what was going on because of that.
“It took about five to 10 minutes for the police to get everyone to clear off.
“There was a coastguard out for a while so I wondered if it was a boat that capsized at first, but it doesn’t look like that anymore.
“It’s really sad that something like this would happen.”