The provost of Angus has urged those responsible for the “horrific” murder of an Arbroath man to turn themselves in to police.
Ronnie Proctor has expressed his shock after details emerged of the “sustained and brutal attack” on 27-year-old offshore worker Steven Donaldson, whose body was found on Thursday morning.
Police are continuing with their inquiries into the murder at the RSPB Loch of Kinnordy nature reserve on the outskirts of Kirriemuir, which has shocked the communities of two Angus towns.
A no-fly zone put in place on Thursday remains in place, and the B951 Kirriemuir to Kirkton of Kingoldrum road remains closed.
Mr Proctor, Kirriemuir and Dean Conservative councillor, said: “This has rippled throughout the whole community.
“People are mindful of the young man who was murdered.
“It is a shocking thing to happen in a small town like Kirriemuir. The town’s people are quite subdued.
“Two strong, local communities have been affected by the tragedy and I hope the police find the perpetrators sooner rather than later.
“If whoever did this had a conscience they should come forward, put their hands up and own up to what is quite a horrific crime, the worst that has happened in Kirriemuir, to my knowledge.”
Steven’s family were too upset to comment at their home, but neighbours in the quiet cul-de-sac in Arbroath spoke of their “devastation” on hearing the news of his murder.
One said: “When you hear it on the news you never think it has happened to someone in your street.”
She explained the area was a quiet neighbourhood but everyone looked out for each other.
“My thoughts are with his family, it is so sad. We are absolutely devastated.”
Steven’s friends have also been left shocked by his murder.
Martin Johnstone, 48, was due to meet his friend on the day his body was found and spoke to Steven hours before he died.
He said: “When I spoke to Steven he told me he was going to Kirriemuir and he seemed fine.
“When he didn’t turn up for our meeting and police found a body, I feared the worst.
“All his friends are in deep shock. We don’t know why anyone would hurt Steven.
“I was his best friend and we spoke every day. He was a 100% hard-working, genuine guy who was never in trouble.”
A police spokesman said: “Inquiries are still ongoing. There is no significant development at this time.”