Man held over 83-year-old dog walker’s death

Two pen­sion­ers also ‘se­ri­ously as­saulted’ in wood­land

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVID MACKAY

An 83-year-old dog walker has died and two oth­ers are in a se­ri­ous con­di­tion af­ter an al­leged at­tack in a Moray wood­land.

Po­lice were called to Birken­hill Woods, about a mile south of El­gin, fol­low­ing re­ports of two sep­a­rate in­ci­dents at the ru­ral lo­ca­tion.

Last night, po­lice con­firmed that a man had died.

An­other man and a wo­man, both aged 70, are in hos­pi­tal with se­ri­ous but non life-threat­en­ing in­juries.

“I saw po­lice and am­bu­lances rush­ing past the house”

A 35-year-old man has been ar­rested by po­lice in con­nec­tion with the in­ci­dent, which hap­pened around 9am yes­ter­day.

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Brian Ged­des de­scribed the death as a “tragic in­ci­dent” and said his thoughts were with the man’s fam­ily.

He added: “I know the cir­cum­stances will un­der­stand­ably cause con­cern within the lo­cal com­mu­nity, par­tic­u­larly be­cause in­ci­dents of this na­ture are so in­cred­i­bly rare.

“A man has been ar­rested and as our in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ues, I urge any­one with in­for­ma­tion to con­tact us.

“While our in­quiries con­tinue, ad­di­tional pa­trols will be car­ried out in the area and I would urge any­one with con­cerns to speak to any of our of­fi­cers.”

Foren­sic of­fi­cers spent most of yes­ter­day in the wood­land – which is pop­u­lar with dog walk­ers and bikers – try­ing to piece to­gether what hap­pened.

A po­lice he­li­copter also cir­cled the woods and a hous­ing es­tate on the south­ern perime­ter of the town dur­ing the evening.

Hor­ri­fied neigh­bours re­ported see­ing of­fi­cers come and go through­out the day as more staff joined the op­er­a­tion at the site near the A941 Rothes road.

One said: “I’ve seen the po­lice com­ing and go­ing all day, some of them have turned round out­side the house. I don’t know what hap­pened though.”

An­other said: “There were a lot of sirens in the morn­ing and I saw po­lice and am­bu­lances rush­ing past the house.

“There’s been more go­ing past slowly dur­ing the day.”

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion should con­tact po­lice on 101 or Crimestop­pers on 0800 555111.

IN­CI­DENT: Po­lice at Birken­hill Woods, just south of El­gin, af­ter an 83-year-old dog walker died and an­other man and wo­man were in­jured

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