Two children witnessed their father being stabbed to death during a targeted attack in Inverclyde.
Christopher Nicol died at the scene after suffering stab wounds during a robbery attempt at his house on Maple Road, Greenock on Thursday.
The murder took place in front of his young children aged five and six.
Emergency services attended at around 9.15pm but he couldn’t be saved.
Police, who are now hunting the killer, say the 27-year-old was known to his attacker.
Officers believe the person targeted the house in the belief that there was a large amount of money within.
They are looking to trace a man in his 20s, described as white, around 5ft 10 with a slim build, short dark hair and rough facial hair with top and bottom teeth missing, in connection with the murder.
He was wearing a black Timberland beanie hat, black jumper and black jeans.
“Detective Chief Inspector Martin Fergus from the Major Investigation Team said: “Christopher Nicol was within his flat in Maple Road around 9.05pm on Thursday night when he was violently attacked in front of his two young children aged five and six years. Both children are receiving full support from a number of partner agencies at this time.
“At this time we believe that the motive for this was robbery and that Christopher was targeted specifically because his attacker thought there was a large sum of money in the house which was not the case.
“For whatever the reason, to carry out such a brutal attack in front of such young children is absolutely sickening. It shows an absolute disregard for their safety or suffering. This callous killer must be caught.
“Although our murder investigation is progressing, we have been disappointed by the public response to our previous appeal. I believe that the answer to this murder lies in the local community and I am in no doubt that there are people out there who have vital information on this incident, who have not yet come forward.
“I would urge them to look to their conscience and contact us. I would like to hear from local people in Greenock to give us details of anyone they know who was out and about in the Maple Road area on Thursday evening. The man responsible has quite a distinctive description, so if you have any idea of his identity, then please contact us as soon as possible.
“We will trace the man responsible, but I would appreciate any information that the local community can provide. Don’t wait for us to visit your home, do the right thing and come forward. You may hold that vital piece of information that could lead us to the man responsible for this murder.”