Murder investigation launched 10 days after dog walker found shot dead

Police have launched a murder investigation ten days after Brian Low was found dead
Police Scotland have launched a murder investigation 10 days after Brian Low was found dead - UNPIXS

The former groundsman of a millionaire financier’s shooting estate was shot dead while walking his dog near Aberfeldy, in Perthshire.

A murder investigation is underway after Brian Low, 65, was killed near Aberfeldy on Feb 17.

He had worked for Michael Campbell MBE on the Edradynate Estate for more than 20 years before he retired in February 2023.

It took police until Tuesday to confirm the death was being treated as murder, following a post mortem examination of Mr Low’s body, who was found dead at the scene.

Police are now searching the nearby area for clues of the killing, which is thought to have happened when Mr Low was walking his black Labrador on a secluded woodland track at around 8:30am on a Saturday morning.

The post mortem suggested the death, which was previously treated as unexplained, was not a suicide or accident.

While there is no suggestion the estate is linked to Mr Low’s death, it has been at the centre of prior police investigations.

In 2018, a gamekeeper was cleared of poisoning crops on the property in the dead of night as revenge for a dispute with Mr Campbell.

Several police were parked at the scene on Tuesday night and a small grey tent erected
Several police were parked at the scene on Tuesday night and a small grey tent erected - UNPIXS

A spokesperson for Edradynate Estate said: “Brian Low worked for us for the past 20 years on the estate as a groundsman.

“We are very sad and shocked at these disturbing events. I have known him for many years and he worked with us until around this time last year.

“We do not know what happened. We knew he had died obviously but this news has created another level of shock.

“We are still trying to process all the details. We have already offered our condolences to his family and we are continuing to support them.”

It is not clear whether Mr Low was killed in a targeted attack.

Police have faced criticism for failing to inform the public that a killer was on the loose for 10 days, with the death causing shock in Aberfeldy.

The town is home to around 2,000 people and has been immortalised in the Robert Burns poem The Birks Of Aberfeldy and the Ed Sheeran song The Hills of Aberfeldy.

‘Highly unusual’ incident

Martin Gallagher, a former police superintendent with Police Scotland, said it was “highly unusual” for such an incident to be kept from the public for so long.

He said: “I can’t recall a case in all my service where the police withheld information for 10 days in respect of a murder having been committed, other than when homicide has not been identified as the cause of death at the outset.

“The police know that incidents such as this attract public interest and disquiet.”

Detectives have set up an online portal to encourage members of the public to submit information.

John Swinney, the former deputy first minister and MSP for the area, said: “This is a devastating and serious announcement and I express my sympathy to the family of Brian Low.

“I have spoken with Police Scotland and sought reassurance that an appropriate police presence will be in place to ensure community safety.”

Incidents like this ‘unheard of’

Murdo Fraser, the MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said: “Incidents like this are almost unheard of in Highland Perthshire and I’m sure the community of Aberfeldy will be shocked to hear of this murder.”

Several police vans were parked at the scene on Tuesday night, with access to the footpath taped off and a small grey tent erected by officers.

Greg Burns, the local area commander for Police Scotland, said: “I understand this is an extremely concerning incident for this small, rural community.

“I want to take this opportunity to reassure people that we are working round the clock to find out what happened to Brian.

“We will have additional high-visibility patrols in the area and you will see significant police activity over the coming days. Anyone with any concerns can approach these officers at any time.”