CUMNOCK, Scotland — Police have launched a murder inquiry following the death of a gay man who was found brutally beaten, burned and left by the side of a road in Ayrshire, Scotland on Saturday.
The charred remains of Stuart Walker, 28, the former assistant manager at the Royal Hotel in Cumnock, were discovered in the early hours on October 22. Police detectives were not ruling out the possibility that Walker’s death was the result of a anti-gay attack.
A spokeswoman for the Ayshire Constabulary confirmed that Walker’s body had scorch marks, adding that Walker had not “died from his burns” and that he had suffered terrible injuries in what she described as “a horrific attack.”
“In terms of claims of his sexuality and lifestyle we are not ruling out any aspect of his life to try and identify why someone would want to kill him,” the spokeswoman said.
Streets in the nearby Caponacre Industrial area were sealed off as part of the ongoing investigation. The spokeswoman noted that “his body was scorched but it is believed that this was not the cause of his death. We are looking at CCTV and conducting door to door inquiries in an attempt to piece together Walker’s final hours,” she added.
Det Insp Hogg said Mr Walker was last seen alive about two hours before he was killed.
“The facts that we have confirmed at this time is that Stuart had been out with friends in the Cumnock area from Friday night into early Saturday morning and was last seen alive by a family friend near to the fire station in Glaisnock Street around 02:30 hours on Saturday morning,” he said.
“We are still trying to establish where he was between 02:30 and 04:50 hours and who he was with. Officers from the inquiry team are still carrying out extensive inquiries in the local area and studying CCTV footage in an effort to gather further information that will assist their inquiries.
Hogg would not provide specific details on the cause of death, only that Walker was found lying on the roadside and that it was “an extremely violent crime.”
The Scotsman newspaper wrote about the incident saying:
Walker, a popular and former Cumnock Academy pupil, is now the subject of countless heartfelt tributes on a Facebook page set up in his honor.