Body found after pregnant teacher killed in 'murder-suicide' IS fiance

Body found in reservoir after killing of 35-year-old pregnant teacher in ‘murder-suicide’ IS her fiance, police confirm

  • Police confirmed the body found in Mugdock Reservoir is that of David Yates
  • Marelle Sturrock, 35, was found dead at the flat she shared with Yates, 36 
  • Police are said to believe that Ms Sturrock died in a case of murder-suicide 

A body found by police investigating the murder of a pregnant teacher has been formally identified as that of her partner David Yates in what police believe to be a murder-suicide.

Officers were seeking the man in connection with her death, Police Scotland said.

Marelle Sturrock, 35, was found in the couple’s home on Jura Street, Glasgow, on Tuesday morning, prompting a police search for her fiancé, 36-year-old David Yates, in connection with her death. 

She was 29 weeks pregnant and her unborn baby did not survive.

Police said he was wanted in connection with the death of his partner, and that while an investigation is continuing there is nothing to suggest anyone else was involved in her death. 

Marelle Sturrock, 35, pictured with her fiance David Yates, 36 and their dog, which neighbours regularly saw them walking together 

Marelle Sturrock (pictured on April 8) was heavily pregnant when she died 

Marelle Sturrock, 35, pictured with her fiance David Yates, 36

On Thursday, officers confirmed they had recovered a body from Mugdock Reservoir in Mugdock Country Park, East Dunbartonshire, which they believed to be Mr Yates. 

His death is not being treated as suspicious.

Police confirmed that the investigation is ongoing and that there is no information to suggest anyone else is involved in the death of Ms Sturrock, who was 29-weeks pregnant when she died.  

The search for Mr Yates was sparked earlier this week when his white Seat Ateca was found at Mugdock Country Park, some eight miles north of the couple’s property. 

Helicopter search teams could be seen flying above the park and police divers were involved, with large sections of the reservoir cordoned off with police tape.

It is thought that Mr Yates did not leave the park after he travelled there. Police previously confirmed he was last seen on the Sunday before Ms Sturrock died. It is not clear when she was last seen alive. 

Following the discovery of the man’s body, Deputy Superintendent Nicola Kilbane, of Police Scotland, said in a statement: ‘Our thoughts are with Marelle’s family and friends, along with everyone affected by this tragedy. 

‘We are providing her family with specialist support at this incredibly difficult time.’

DSI Kilbane previously said: ‘The last confirmed sighting of David was on Sunday evening shortly after 8pm.

Police searched Mugdock Country park, Milngavie, Scotland, in the hunt for Mr Yates 

A murder probe is under way after heavily pregnant primary school teacher Marelle Sturrock, 35, was found dead at her home in Glasgow. Pictured: her final photo, with friends, on Sunday

Mr Yates was last seen near Mugdock Country Park (pictured), just outside the city in East Dunbartonshire

David Yates, 36, was being hunted by police after the death of his 29-week pregnant fiancée Marelle Sturrock, 35, who was found dead at home on Tuesday 

‘His subsequent movements are unknown after his vehicle was left at Mugdock Country Park but there is nothing to suggest he has left the area. We will keep an open mind on this as we continue to search the area.’

Ms Kilblane previously refused to comment on the couple’s relationship or if there had been any prior police involvement. 

According to The Telegraph, officers now believe that the pair died in a murder-suicide.

It comes as Sarah Sturrock, Marelle’s sister shared the family’s heartbreak, writing: ‘There are no words how utterly devastating this is for us as a family & how we are going to cope without her.

‘How this could of happened to her I will never get my head around this.’

Ms Sturrock had worked as a teacher at Sandwood Primary School for more than six years and led its choirs. She was also a keen actress outside the school. 

Fiona Donnelly, the headteacher of Sandwood Primary School, said: ‘Marelle had been a much-loved member of our school community since her probationary year more than six years ago and has taught many year groups throughout her time at the school. 

‘We all miss her so much. She was a lovely, kind, diligent and considerate person who loved and made time for everyone. 

The exterior of the flat the pair shared in Glasgow, where Ms Sturrock was found dead on Tuesday morning

Police Scotland officers pictured close to Muglock Reservoir on Thursday morning 

Police cordoned off a stretch of grass next to Mugdock reservoir before police divers started searching the reservoir

Helicopter search teams could be seen flying above the park as the hunt for the ‘missing person’ intensified earlier this week

Sandwood Primary School, where Ms Sturrock (pictured with her dog) worked, confirmed her death in a letter to families of those with children at the school 

‘Marelle used her artistic talents across the school and was our music champion who has been a key player in the success of our school choirs; with one of her classes going to see her on stage at The King’s in one of her many acting roles outside of school. 

‘We are a school community in mourning and devastated by the tragic news of her death.’

In a letter sent to the families of pupils on Wednesday, the school said: ‘It is with deep sorrow that I must inform you about the sudden death of Ms Sturrock who is a beloved member of our teaching staff.

‘I know that this will come as a shock to our school community, and we will do all that we can to support children, staff and families through what will be a difficult and challenging time.

‘I hope that you will understand that there are no other details that I can share at this time but wanted to let our families know the tragic news from the school.’

Education psychologists are on hand to support pupils. 

Ms Sturrock, whose due date was in July, lived with Mr Yates. It is understood the pair got engaged in 2015.

According to neighbours, the couple would sometimes visit Mugdock Country Park to walk their dog.

According to neighbours, the couple would sometimes visit Mugdock Country Park to walk their dog

Police Scotland confirmed an investigation was under way. Pictured: Police at Mugdock Park near Glasgow

Ms Sturrock, whose due date was in July, lived with her fiancé Mr Yates. Pictured: The living room inside the flat where the couple lived together

It is understood the pair got engaged in 2015. Pictured: The kitchen inside the flat they shared together

Friends went to her flat and became suspicious when she did not answer the door. Pictured: A garden at the rear of the property

Ms Sturrock was from Wick, Caithness, but moved to Glasgow when she was 17 to pursue a career in the performing arts.

She became a primary school teacher after completing a postgraduate diploma in education.

Parents at the school also paid tribute, describing Ms Sturrock as ‘a lovely person’ who treated pupils ‘as if they were her own children’.

One parent said: ‘So lovely, so very loveable and friendly. She always helped the children if they were upset or emotional – she would make them feel very loved. I am just in shock.

Another added: ‘She treated the kids like her own. She picked them up, she made them feel confident within themselves. She was just a lovely person. It is really sad and tragic. She is never going to be a mum herself and at such a young age, it is just tragic.’

Colleagues are understood to have raised the alarm when she did not arrive for work at school.

Friends went to her flat and became suspicious when she did not answer the door. 

Ms Sturrock had posted a picture on social media just days earlier of her enjoying a dinner with friends in Glasgow.

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