Police Scotland has asked for an independent review into the death of a man whose body was recovered from Wick Harbour more than 20 years ago.
Senior representatives of Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service met with the family of Kevin Mcleod earlier today to inform them that, following consultation with the Lord Advocate, Chief Constable Iain Livingstone has requested Merseyside Police carry out a detailed review of the case under the direction of the Crown.
The initial investigation into Mr Mcleod’s death in 1997 by Northern Constabulary will be reviewed, along with all further inquiries carried out by Police Scotland since its formation in 2013.
Mr Mcleod, an electrician, was last seen in the early hours of February 8, 1997, as he enjoyed a night out with friends in the Caithness town. His body was recovered from the sea the following day.
Assistant Chief Constable Gillian MacDonald said: “Kevin’s parents, Hugh and June Mcleod, have suffered unimaginable pain and trauma for more than 20 years as they search for answers regarding his death.
“It is only right that Police Scotland does everything it possibly can to address these unanswered questions.
“That is why the Chief Constable has asked Merseyside Police to assess all the circumstances surrounding Kevin’s death to assist Police Scotland detectives with their review of the case.
“As we have said previously, numerous investigations into this case by Police Scotland have confirmed that initial inquiries by Northern Constabulary fell short of the required standard and opportunities to gather vital evidence were missed.
“It is Police Scotland's unequivocal position that we fully accept that an instruction was indeed given by the then Procurator Fiscal to treat Kevin's death as a murder and to investigate it accordingly, which Northern Constabulary at that time failed to do.
“The tragic events surrounding Kevin’s death remain unexplained, however we are fully committed to investigating any new evidence which may come to light.
“I would urge anyone in both Wick and the wider area who may have any information they feel could help our investigations to please come forward."
Anyone with information should contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.