100 days on, hunt continues for Martyn Barclay's killer
MARTYN BARCLAY fought for his life for nearly 24 hours after being shot in the head and left dying in the street before dawn had broken in the Capital.
Found lying unconscious in Hazelwood Grove at 6am by a passer-by, the 26-year-old was later transferred from the ERI to the neurology unit at the Western General Hospital, where surgeons battled to save him.
As his family gathered round to pray for his recovery, detectives knew that first day would be crucial to catching the killer.
The scene was cordoned off and swept by forensic experts, potential witnesses were spoken to, and police patrols alerted to be on the lookout for anything suspicious.
A phone call from the hospital instantly turned their inquiry into a murder hunt, as news was passed that the father-of-one had died from his injuries.
But in the 100 days since the Hibs fan was gunned down on January 17, police are yet to make an arrest in an inquiry boasting a team of 60 officers.
No descriptions of a suspect have been released and any leads the detectives are following have been played close to their chests.
The most significant breakthrough in the investigation seems to be the discovery of a gun near Craigmillar Castle during a large-scale search of woodlands near the Inch home where Mr Barclay was staying with his girlfriend, Caroline Igoe, and her parents.
Police will not confirm whether ballistic tests had shown it to be the murder weapon, but privately Mr Barclay's family are now said to doubt that it was.
Officers also refused to say if the search was carried out as a result of a tip-off, or following an interview with a witness or suspect.
The shooting has exposed an alleged rift between Mr Barclay's family and his girlfriend, a 31-year-old part-time model.
Friends and family left messages almost hourly on a website set up in tribute to Mr Barclay, posting both fond memories and pledges to look out for his young son, Michael.
But Ms Igoe was soon banned from leaving messages on the site, later setting up her own rival page on the Gone Too Soon website for her own reminiscences.
Last week, Ms Igoe expressed disbelief that his body has still not been released by the procurator fiscal from the city mortuary while the inquiry remains on-going.
But a young woman who described herself as a "very close member" of Martyn's family said: "My family can say for certain that Caroline will not be attending the funeral. There is a massive family feud with her. We don't like her and we don't want her at Martyn's funeral.
"The family will make sure she isn't there and we'll talk to the police to keep her away.
"Martyn was with his ex-partner, Gillian, for five-and-a-half years. She is like a member of the family and we believe she and Martyn would've ended up back together again. He was only with Caroline for seven weeks and I think he saw the relationship more as giving her a place to stay.
"Caroline has been posting all these messages about them being in love on her website, but she's just an attention seeker."
Ms Igoe – who last week missed a court appearance on assault charges after her lawyer told the court that she was rushed to hospital for an emergency hysterectomy – has been questioned a number of times by police since the shooting.
The mother-of-four and her parents spent several hours being interviewed in February, with officers visiting their Hazelwood Grove home while they were away.
The search was carried out in the days after Ms Igoe apparently attempted to hang herself. It was the second time she had been hospitalised following her partner's death. The first was after an apparent overdose.
Today, the street has returned to its former tranquility, the police tape and floral tributes long since cleared away. But behind the scenes, the team of detectives hunting the killer remain dedicated to their task despite the veil of silence surrounding their efforts.
Mr Barclay's alleged link to drug dealers in south Edinburgh is understood to have stemmed from the interviewing of employees from private hire car firms.
Rumours have been circulating that Mr Barclay was killed as part of a bitter feud between gangsters from the Inch/Gilmerton and Granton/Royston areas, and sources say private hire firms have been caught up in the crossfire.
Police carried out searches of the surrounding streets and gardens, and suspended the council's wheelie bin collection in the area until they could all be checked. A special vehicle was drafted in to probe nearby drains in Old Dalkeith Road in the search for evidence.
Ballistics experts are likely to have confirmed whether a silencer was used. Neighbours apparently reported hearing nothing in the road that morning.
The experts are also likely to have determined from Mr Barclay's wounds the bullet's trajectory and at what range he was hit, indicating whether or not he was hit close up, perhaps by someone he knew.
Hundreds of statements have been collected by officers, and the inquiry team even sent out Bluetooth messages with an appeal for information to fans at Easter Road for a Hibs and Hearts derby.
A police spokesman said: "A team of 60 officers are continuing enquiries, and we
continue to appeal for anyone with information about the murder to come forward as a matter of urgency."
But despite this urgency, some fear the trail leading to Mr Barclay's killer is growing colder with each passing day.
Silence from detectives fuels the rumour mill
DETECTIVES today said they remained "absolutely committed" to finding the killer of Martyn Barclay, although they have revealed little about their investigation.
But locals and well-placed sources have suggested a number of possible explanations for the shooting.
Among the theories are:
• An alleged link to a major drug dealer based in the Inch, who is believed to supply much of the Capital's cocaine. That gangster and his associates were locked in a bitter feud with rivals from Granton which led to five shootings last year.
Some say Mr Barclay was the first fatality in a war between gangs, and one source said the shooting was a deadly escalation of that battle, but the theory was largely dismissed.
• It was reported that Mr Barclay had received a warning from police officers stating he could be targeted following alleged trouble over the past relationships of his girlfriend, Caroline Igoe.
Ms Igoe is alleged to have had a relationship with a man linked with the Granton gang.
• Mr Barclay may have acquired a gun himself, perhaps as protection, and either accidentally shot himself outside the home or been hit after a tussle over the weapon.
Police chiefs have dismissed the suggestion.
• An outlandish rumour that Mr Barclay was involved in a drug deal which saw conterfeit cash passed to gangsters from Liverpool. After discovering they had been paid in fake money, a professional hit was carried out.
THE STORY SO FAR
January 17, 6am: Martyn Barclay is shot in the head in Hazelwood Grove.
January 18: The father-of-one dies at the Western General.
January 20: Caroline Igoe speaks to mourners leaving flowers at the murder site.
January 21: The victim's parents make an appeal for information about their son's murder.
January 24: Police question passers-by and neighbours.
January 26: The city council's community wardens are drafted in to help the appeal.
January 27: Police search drains on Old Dalkeith Road in hunt for murder weapon.
February 16: Ms Igoe and her parents interviewed by police again while officers search their Hazelwood Grove home.
March 11: Team of 15 police officers and sniffer dogs search woods opposite the Inch estate.
March 13: Police find a gun near Craigmillar Castle in search.
March 14: Police appeal for information at Edinburgh derby at Easter Road.
April 15: Ms Igoe is rushed to hospital for an operation.
April 17: Ms Igoe speaks of her disbelief that three months have passed and Mr Barclay's body has still not been released for burial.
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