The detective leading the hunt for the murderer of Arbroath man Steven Donaldson says it is “absolutely imperative” that officers trace whoever is responsible.
The offshore worker was attacked with what detectives said was a “sharp, heavy weapon” before his body was dumped at Loch of Kinnordy nature reserve.
A walker made the grim find at the beauty spot near Kirriemuir on Thursday morning.
Police say Mr Donaldson drove from Arbroath to Kirriemuir on Wednesday evening in his white BMW 1 Series car. It has a private registration of S73 VED.
Detective Superintendent James Smith of the Major Investigation Team said police were aware of the reason for Mr Donaldson going to Kirriemuir on Wednesday, but would not elaborate for operational reasons.
Within hours of him last being seen, his body was found away from his car at the reserve.
Mr Smith said officers were reviewing CCTV footage and carrying out house to house enquiries, as well as speaking to motorists on the B951, which runs past the reserve.
“We absolutely need the help of the community within Angus or wider to help me and my team get the answers for Steven and his family,” said the senior officer.
“Steven was a son and a brother.
“There is nothing we are uncovering at the moment that would give rise to concerns about his background – there is no justification for what happened here, no matter the background.”
Mr Smith added: “No matter how insignificant you may feel the information is, let us know and we will assess it. We will not ignore you, we will be back in touch.”
“It may prove vital in tracing those responsible for this brutal murder.”
Annalise Johnston murder probe
Mr Smith is also heading the inquiry into the death of 22-year-old Annalise Johnstone, whose body was found on a rural road near Auchterarder last month.
He said detectives were keeping an “open mind” on the two deaths, but insisted there was nothing at this stage to link them.
“At this stage there is absolutely no connection we can see,” added Mr Smith.
Angus Local area commander, Chief Inspector David McIntosh said: “This incident will undoubtedly shock the local community of Kirriemuir and wider area but I want to assure the public that crimes of this nature are very rare in Angus and everything is being done to find out who was responsible for the death of Steven.
“We are carrying out high visibility patrols in the area and if you have any information that can assist our investigation, please speak to one of these officers or call Police Scotland on 101.
“Alternatively if you have any information about the incident you can contact Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
A dedicated email address for the inquiry has also been set up at firstname.lastname@example.org.