Police sent ‘please explain’ letter after they missed fact dead man had been shot

Police on the outskirts of Aberfeldy, in Perthshire, after the body of Brian Law was found
Police on the outskirts of Aberfeldy, in Perthshire, after the body of Brian Law was found - PA/Andrew Milligan

Scotland’s most senior police officer has been urged to address “unanswered questions” surrounding the death of a murder victim who police did not initially realise had been shot.

Brian Low, 65, was found dead on a rural path in Pitilie, near Aberfeldy in Perth and Kinross, on Feb 17.

Police initially believed he had died of natural causes, and it took another six days for a murder investigation to be launched after a routine medical examination uncovered a gunshot wound.

Detectives appear to have made little progress in the investigation, and have admitted that vital evidence may have been missed due to the delay in realising they were dealing with a murder.

Pete Wishart, the Perth and North Perthshire MP, has written to Jo Farrell, the Police Scotland Chief Constable, to seek clarity on the ongoing investigation, as well as addressing community safety concerns and the force’s initial response.

The local community has been rocked to the core by the murder
The local community has been rocked to the core by the murder - PA/Andrew Milligan

Locals were not told of the nature of Mr Low’s death until 10 days after his body was found.

Mr Wishart told Ms Farrell that the incident had “rocked the close-knit community of Aberfeldy to its core”.

“I fully appreciate that this is a live investigation which must be given the time to be conducted thoroughly and properly,” the SNP MP said.

“However, we are now two months on from Mr Low’s death, and vital information relating to this shocking incident, and the police’s initial response, is still lacking.

“I have been contacted by a number of my constituents in the Aberfeldy area who have a range of concerns over this matter, particularly in relation to community safety.

“As such, it is important that they are provided with as much information as possible in order to provide reassurance during this unsettling time, and also to encourage those who may hold key information to come forward.”

The professional standards department of Police Scotland has been informed of the case, while watchdog the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner said it would conduct its own review.

Mr Low’s body was found alongside his labrador Millie, who he had been walking at the time of his murder, on the morning of Saturday, Feb 17. The dog was unharmed.

Police have previously said they are keeping an “open mind” about motives and that they do not believe the former groundsman at the Edradynate sporting estate was involved in any criminality.

At a press conference in February, Det Chf Insp Martin Macdougall, of Police Scotland’s major investigation team, said: “The circumstances as they presented to the officers at the time didn’t indicate there was any suspicion.”

Police Scotland were approached for comment.