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Murder probe after man's body found

A murder inquiry is under way after a man's burned body was found at the side of a road, police said.

Stuart Walker, 28, from Cumnock in Ayrshire, was found dead with "horrible injuries" at the roadside of an industrial estate shortly before 5am on Saturday morning.

Responding to reports Mr Walker might have been targeted because of his sexuality, Strathclyde Police said they were looking into all aspects of the victim's life as part of the inquiry.

The force confirmed his body was found scorched at the side of the road at Caponacre Industrial Estate in Cumnock. Detectives are checking CCTV images and making door-to-door inquiries in a bid to trace his last movements.

Detective Inspector John Hogg, from Strathclyde Police, said Mr Walker was last seen alive about two hours before he was killed.

He said: "Stuart had been out with friends in the Cumnock area earlier during the night and was last seen alive by a family friend near to the fire station in Glaisnock Street around 0230 hours on Saturday morning - nearly two-and-a-half hours before he was found.

"It is imperative that we find out where he was between 0230 and 0450 hours, who he was with and why this happened to him. From our inquiries so far, we understand that there may have been a number of house parties in the nearby Netherthird housing estate in the early hours of the morning. At this time we do not know if these parties are linked to our investigation or not, so again, any information on that is important."

Hundreds of tributes were left on Facebook pages set up to honour the former Royal Hotel worker.

A post from Karen Nicol on a page called RIP Stuart Walker, which more than 3,500 people joined, read: "Life is so unfair. A genuine guy who always had a smile, a wave or a big cheery hello for everyone. Cumnock an emptier place without you for lots of people. God bless and R.I.P. Thoughts and prayers are with your family xx."

Another from Margo Greig read: "These candles may burn out but the memories of you will last forever, such a fun loving, down to earth guy. A big softy at heart, will miss you loads hunnie, let that big cheesy smile of yours shine on!"


From Belfast Telegraph