Police investigating the murder of a 27-year-old Tayside man recovered a “damaged” vehicle at the crime scene, the Tele can reveal.
Steven Donaldson’s body was found at Loch Kinnordy Nature Reserve near Kirriemuir at around 5am last Thursday.
Officers say he had been the victim of a “brutal and sustained” attack.
Two properties in Kirriemuir have been sealed off by police as part of the investigation – though the person or people responsible for his death remain at large.
Detectives are trying to confirm Mr Donaldson’s movements in the hours before his body was found and say he travelled in his BMW M1 sports saloon car from Arbroath to the Kirriemuir area around 10pm last Wednesday.
Sources told the Tele Mr Donaldson’s car had been found at the scene having been set on fire.
Detective Superintendent James Smith, of the Major Investigation Team, said of the claims: “I can’t confirm any of that.”
But he added: “I can confirm there was a vehicle there that was damaged and we’re following a line of inquiry in relation to that vehicle.”
The officer would not confirm whether or not the vehicle found was Mr Donaldson’s.
Vehicle movements are forming a key part of the police investigation – with officers looking to establish where else Mr Donaldson may have travelled in his car, as well as information about a black Range Rover-style vehicle which was seen about 10pm last Wednesday parked at the end of a driveway about half a mile west of the nature reserve.
Det Supt Smith, who is the senior investigating officer, said: “The occupants (of this vehicle) may hold vital information, and it’s important that they come forward and speak to officers from the investigation.”
He added: “Similarly, there was a sighting of three men about 8pm that Wednesday evening, within the car park at Kinnordy Nature Reserve.
“I appreciate it’s a popular location, however if you were there that evening, please come forward and speak to officers.”
The Tele revealed yesterday how officers were standing guard outside two houses in Kirriemuir as part of the probe. Residents said they had been present since the weekend, with forensics officers and CID seen visiting the properties.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.