Death of police officer found dead in burn thought to be ‘tragic accident’

The death of a police officer who was found dead in a burn appears to have been a “tragic accident”, detectives have said.

The body of Dean Morrison, 40, was discovered at Barry Burn in Carnoustie, Angus, at around 12.40pm on Sunday.

Officers have traced a taxi driver who drove Pc Morrison to Carnoustie but are appealing for information from any witnesses as they try to piece together his last moments.

They are also searching for a scarf the officer was wearing when he was last seen on Saturday night.

Detective Inspector Ray Birnie of Tayside Division said: “Whilst our enquiry is still ongoing, I can confirm that Dean’s death is not being treated as suspicious. I would like to stress that all indications to date are that it was a tragic accident.

“Our thoughts remain firmly with his family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time.  We are of course continuing to support his family with specialist police officers.

“I can confirm that we have this afternoon spoken to the taxi driver who drove Dean to Carnoustie.

“He has confirmed that he dropped Dean off at the roundabout at Barry Road/MacDonald Smith Drive at 11.30pm on Saturday 15 December.

“A member of the public has also contacted us to tell us that Dean was seen walking in Main Street shortly thereafter.

“We still need to establish if anyone else has seen or heard Dean after this.”

When last seen Mr Morrison was wearing a dark grey “puffer” style jacket, scarf, dark shirt, black trousers and brown shoes.

Police are still searching for the scarf he was wearing which is from Next, is multi-coloured and striped including brown, green and silver.

Anyone who finds the scarf is asked to leave it where it is and contact police.

Carnoustie residents are being told to expect increased police activity in the days ahead “including search officers, uniformed officers and the use of a drone”.

Police Scotland said Pc Morrison had 16 years of service covering the Tayside area.

Chief Superintendent Andrew Todd, Divisional Commander for Tayside Division, added: “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.”

Anyone with any information is asked contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting 1960, or speak to any police officers.

Alternatively people with information can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their anonymous online form at

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