A former girlfriend of murdered Arbroath man Steven Donaldson has begged for information to help catch his savage killers.
Mr Donaldson’s brutal murder has left the Kirriemuir community in a grip of fear with some residents wrestling with the realisation that the killers could be living amongst them.
Officers have also been searching two homes in Kirriemuir with police standing guard at the properties since the weekend, although no arrests have yet been made.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said someone in the town knows something and she wants them to push fear to one side and “put an end to this nightmare”.
She said: “Steven was a lovely guy.
“I can’t get my head around why anyone would want to harm him in such a horrible and inhumane way. We knew each other for a few years and dated when we were younger.
“He was such a caring and thoughtful person, never had a bad word to say about anyone and always happy.
“Someone in Kirriemuir knows something and I beg them to come forward and put an end to this nightmare.
“He was such a good guy and will be greatly missed by many. He was very private and kept himself busy. My thoughts are with his family and friends.”
The 27-year-old tool specialist was found in the car park of the Loch of Kinnordy nature reserve in Kirriemuir on Thursday having apparently been lured to his death.
Mr Donaldson left Arbroath for Kirriemuir at 10pm on Wednesday and his body was discovered the following morning at 5am by two walkers.
He was the victim of a sustained and brutal attack with a sharp, heavy weapon.
Crimestoppers has also urged anyone scared to talk to the police to instead “do the right thing” and contact the charity anonymously.
Angela Parker, Crimestoppers National Manager for Scotland, said: “As a charity, we take information every day from members of the public that may be scared to talk to the police, or are concerned they might have to stand up in court.
“Contacting us removes both of these scenarios.
“We are here for communities up and down the country, and I want to reassure anyone who has information on the murder of Steven Donaldson, that they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously.
“We don’t want to know who you are, only what you know.
“We have never broken our promise of anonymity in 30 years, so please do the right thing and contact us on 0800 555 111 or via our secure online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org.”
A no-fly zone and public road closure are set to remain in place as part of the investigation for as long as necessary, according to the police officer leading the hunt for those responsible.
Detective Superintendent Jim Smith said the no fly zone was put in place on Thursday “purely for decency for the investigation and Steven’s family”.
In relation to the closure affecting the two-mile stretch of the Kirriemuir to Kirkton of Kingoldrum road running past the entrance to the reserve, Mr Smith said that whilst the incident was contained within the car park of the RSPB attraction, there were also operational reasons for implementing that.
“The incident appears to be contained within the car park area of the nature reserve,” he said.
“The reason for extending the outer cordon was purely for common decency, but also there is the integrity of the scene.
“These points will remain in place until such time as I am satisfied that we have done everything within our power to recover whatever evidence may be there.”