Tributes paid to pair found dead at Aberdeen tower

Police on the scene at Donside Court. Picture: PA
Police on the scene at Donside Court. Picture: PA
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Tributes have been paid to a man and woman who died in a disturbance in which a third man apparently leapt to his death.

The pair, named locally as Keith Taylor and Tracy Gabriel, were found following a disturbance at a block of flats in Aberdeen on Tuesday evening.

Keith Taylor and Tracy Gabriel. Picture: contributed

Keith Taylor and Tracy Gabriel. Picture: contributed

Police Scotland said their deaths are being treated as murder.

Police have launched a double murder inquiry after the bodies of a man and a woman were found at a flat in Aberdeen with a second man falling to his death from a balcony.

The case has been referred to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) to examine what happened after officers entered the 12th-floor property at Donside Court, Tillydrone, on Tuesday night.

Speaking to a national newspaper, Ms Gabriel’s father, Alex, 63, said: “Tracy was a very cheery, generous person who would give you the last pound in her pocket. Maybe she was sometimes too generous to the wrong people, who took advantage of her.

“All she ever wanted to do was make sure everyone was okay. I can’t believe something like this has happened to her.”

Her daughter Samantha, 21, said: “I’m struggling to believe this has happened.”

Writing on Facebook, a friend of Mr Taylor said: “I would Like to say rest in peace to one of my oldest best friends Keith Taylor.

“Man we had so much fun and crazy times too and I remember all the trouble we didn’t mean get into to but it just happened.

“You will always be in my life man RIP Keith.”

A statement released on behalf of the family of Tracy Gabriel said: “Tracy was a much loved daughter, sister, mother, aunt and cousin. Born in Aberdeen, Tracy spent most of her younger years in the Alford and Huntly areas. She then moved to Aberdeen whilst in her twenties and latterly lived in the Tillydrone area. She was well known in the community and well liked by her friends and family. She will be sadly missed.”

While a second statement, released on behalf of the family of Keith Taylor, read: “Keith was a happy go lucky lad. He had a great sense of humour and was always laughing and joking. His Dad taught him to Scuba dive and they enjoyed many diving trips in and around the Moray coast. Keith met his wife when he worked in Holland in the oil and gas sector. They then moved to Aberdeen and got married in 2013. He was a loving husband and was devoted to his Mum and Dad plus his older brother.

“We would ask that we are left in private as we try to come to terms with our sad loss.”

Neighbours raised the alarm around 8.30pm with claims that cries for help could be heard from the flat.

Police discovered the badly-wounded bodies within the property with the man falling to his death shortly after officers arrived.

Detective Chief Inspector Keith Hardie from the Major Investigations Team said: “Officers attended at Donside Court following reports of disturbance and found the bodies of a man and a woman within a flat.

“Both of these deaths are being investigated and treated as murder.

“At this stage, we can also confirm that a second man died at the scene a short time after officers attended.

“The circumstances of this death are likewise being investigated and treated as murder.

“Given that officers were present at the time of the death, the Procurator Fiscal has instructed the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner review the circumstances.”

DCI Hardie stressed no one else was being sought in connection with the incident and that there was no wider threat to the community. A heavy police presence remained in the area on Wednesday.

He confirmed all three victims lived in the same block of flats and knew each other but the senior officer would not be drawn on whether any of the three had been in a relationship, as speculated locally, or were related.

DCI Hardie said he was treating the crime not as a domestic incident but as a double murder.

Today, officers were keeping a close guard of the block which remained surrounded by police tape. A blue tent remained over the spot where the man fell to his death.

Susan Smith, 51, whose house neighbours Donside Court, said she saw officers administering CPR on the man as he lay on the ground.

She said: “I could see police working on the man by the building where he landed. There were officers everywhere, some going into the building and others coming out. I have never seen so many police in my life. Police were trying to save him before the paramedics arrived.

“The ambulances arrived and the crews went in with stretchers but they didn’t come out. That is when we knew something bad had happened.”

Mrs Smith, a domestic cleaner, who has lived in Tillydrone for 30 years, said she had been shocked by the incident.

She added: “People always say negative things about Tillydrone but there are a lot of good people here and a good community spirit.

“The fact is these people who have died could have been decent people who were involved in a situation that just got out of control. It could have happened anywhere.”

A 40-year-old man, whose house also overlooks Donside Court, said he was at home listening to music when he became aware of people running past his window.

When he looked he could see a large crowd gathering outside the block.

“There was a lot of noise, a lot of sirens and I could see what looked like a man lying on the ground. This place has its moments, it is never dull, but nothing as bad as this.”

A spokeswoman for PIRC confirmed the Crown Office has instructed it to investigate the incident.

She added: “The investigation will focus on the circumstances leading up to the death of the second man following the arrival of police officers at the scene.”

“A report on the Commissioner’s findings will be submitted to the COPFS in due course.”