Police admit evidence 'may be lost' amid delays to murdered dogwalker investigation

Brian Low's death was initially assessed as being 'non-suspicious and medical-related'.

Police have admitted that vital evidence into the murder of a dogwalker ‘may have been lost’ after the crime scene was not locked down for days after his body was discovered.

The body of 65-year-old Brian Low was discovered alongside his black Labrador at around 8.30am on Saturday February 17 in the Pitillie area on the outskirts of Aberfeldy.

Mr Low’s death was initially assessed as being “non-suspicious and medical-related” but it was confirmed six days later that he had been fatally shot.

A medical examination on Wednesday February 21 established Mr Low had injuries consistent with being fatally shot, at which point officers were deployed to the scene.

Mr Low was confirmed to have been fatally shot in a postmortem on Friday February 23.

A murder inquiry was launched immediately after, police said.

Mr Low’s next of kin were then made aware of the developments in the case the following day on Saturday February 24.

At a press conference on Thursday, detective chief inspector Martin Macdougall admitted that delays in the case may mean that some vital evidence following Mr Low’s murder may have been lost.

He told reporters: “It is appreciated that in the timeframe between the Saturday and the Wednesday, something could be lost but we’ve taken every opportunity since to recover every item from that area.”

When questioned about how Mr Low presented to officers who were first on the scene, local area commander Greg Burns said: “I think from the initial assessment from the officers, it presented as a medical, a non-suspicious death at this point in time. I think that probably gives you an indication of how the body presented at that time.”

Police refused to confirm where the entry wound was on Mr Low’s body or if there was blood at the scene.

They added they would not release details of the suspected weapon involved and would not confirm if the weapon had been found.

Police said they are keeping an “open mind” into the motive into Mr Low’s murder and whether it was a targeted attack or not. They said enquiries into his death were ongoing but that there was “nothing to indicate that Brian was involved in any criminality” and he was not “adversely known to police”.

When asked if police would refer themselves to the PIRC over delays to the investigation, Mr Macdougall said: “The professional standards department of Police Scotland will be informed and they will make a review and assess that information.”

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