Body left in remote area ‘you wouldn’t normally walk through’

Prosecutors allege Ross Willox killed Emma Faulds, 39, at Fairfield Park in Monkton, Ayrshire, in 2019.

Body left in remote area ‘you wouldn’t normally walk through’ Police Scotland

The body of Emma Faulds was left in a forest area where someone “would not normally walk through”.

Jurors heard how a top soil expert was asked to help during the probe into the 39-year-old’s death.

Professor Lorna Dawson CBE made the claim about the scene having been tasked with studying soil and plant samples relevant to the inquiry.

This also included examining boots belonging to Ross Willox, who is accused of killing Ms Faulds.

It was 24 hours after Prof Dawson’s findings that Ms Faulds’ body was found in Glentrool Forest, Dumfries and Galloway, on June 12, 2019.

The evidence was heard at the High Court in Glasgow on Tuesday.

Willox, 41, is charged with murdering Ms Faulds at his home in Fairfield Park, Monkton, Ayrshire, on April 28, 2019 by means unknown and then dumping her body.

The court heard Prof Dawson was an expert advisor who had worked with police forces across the UK and in Australia.

She was asked to examine Timberland boots as well as two vehicles for the presence of soil.

Prosecutor Paul Kearney asked the professor: “You were approached to see if you could provide your expertise in soil science to assist in the search for Emma?”

She replied: “Yes.”

Prof Dawson made her findings on June 11.

The court heard the search for Ms Faulds then “refocused” on areas that were “wet and boggy” in Glentrool.

Mr Kearney asked the witness: “Police were searching in the general area at the time you provided the information.

“They then altered the search more to this type of environment there?”

She replied: “Near to an area that would create this boggy environment.”

Ms Faulds was found the next day before the professor visited the site.

There was a “strategy meeting” on how best to take soil and plant samples from the scene to compare with earlier findings.

Mr Kearney quizzed the professor on what the area was like.

She said: “There was no walking path there. Nothing of a natural path.

“It was quite difficult circumstances to work under due to the amount of midges.

“It was not an area that you would naturally walk through. You would avoid it.”

Prof Dawson told jurors soil recovered from the Timberland boots worn by Willox was found to be similar to the earth where Ms Faulds’ body was found.

She said: “It is much more probable that the material recovered from the Timberland boots came from the deposition site rather than a similar common bog habitat.”

Willox denies the charges.

The trial, before judge Lord Mulholland, continues.

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