A 39-year-old man whose body was found in his Dunfermline flat was the victim of a violent murder, police have confirmed.
Duncan Banks was violently assaulted before he was found dead in Abbeyview on Monday.
Police Scotland initially said his death was unexplained but revealed on Wednesday night that extensive inquiries were underway, led by detectives from the Major Investigation Team (MIT).
As an appeal was issued for witnesses, Mr Banks’ family paid tribute to a beloved son with “a heart of gold” and condemned speculation over how he died.
In a statement issued through police, they said: “In the past couple of days we have read a number of very upsetting suggestions and theories about how Duncan died and until we know exactly what happened, we would request that people stop jumping to conclusions and let the police finish their investigation.”
Asking to be left alone to grieve, they also said: “Duncan was a beloved son and a much-loved brother and uncle and we have all been left utterly devastated by his death.
“He was a very popular character, who had a heart of gold and wouldn’t hurt a fly.
“Whenever he could, he would try to help his friends and family with any problems they had.
“We have been overwhelmed with the support we’ve received from our friends and the local community during this awful time and we are all so grateful for the messages of sympathy we continue to receive.”
Police have urged anyone who saw anything suspicious near Mr Banks’ Skye Road flat between 11am on Sunday and 5pm on Monday, when his body was discovered, to get in touch.
Detective Chief Inspector Keith Hardie, of the MIT, said: “Following the conclusion of a post mortem I can confirm that the death of Duncan Banks is being treated as murder.
“I ask anyone who was in the area of Skye Road between 11am on Sunday, September 27, and 5pm on Monday, September 28, and who noticed any unusual behaviour to come forward.
“Mr Banks was the victim of a violent assault and we are committed to tracing anyone who was involved in his death.
“Such acts of violence have no place in society.”
Police also attempted to allay fears for public safety, stressing that such crimes were rare.
West Fife Area Commander Chief Inspector Irene Ralston said: “I want to reassure the local community that, although this is a serious and violent crime, it is not a common event in Fife and we are doing everything in our power to bring whoever is responsible to justice.
“We have high visibility patrols in the Skye Road area and have set up an incident bus.
“Anyone who has concerns is welcome to speak to an officer there.”
It is understood Mr Banks’ body was discovered by a worried friend who had climbed a ladder to his top floor flat and saw him lying lifeless on the floor.
Mr Banks had been dog sitting for friends who became concerned when he failed to answer his phone, it is believed.