POLICE have confirmed a body found in woodland is that of missing student David O’Halloran.
The 18-year-old disappeared after a night-out with friends in Stirling city centre more than three months ago.
He took a lift in a taxi but got out before reaching his accommodation and was last spotted crossing Henderson Street in Bridge of Allan, near Stirling, in the early hours of January 18.
• Missing student police seek taxi lead
A body was discovered in a wooded area above Bridge of Allan on April 18 and a spokesman for Police Scotland confirmed today it is that of the first-year maths student.
The family of Mr O’Halloran, who attended the University of Stirling, launched a campaign to help find him after he vanished, appealing for the public’s help via social network sites Facebook and Twitter.
On the Facebook page, a post believed to be from Mr O’Halloran’s mother Donna, from Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, said a celebration of his life will be held at nearby Stewarton sports centre on May 11 because “David loved his tennis so much”.
A previous message attributed to his family said: “Our hearts are broken but they have been broken since the beginning, as we knew our boy and knew 100% that he had not run away, he loved us too much to ever even have thought of that.”
A statement on the University of Stirling’s website said: “We are deeply saddened by the confirmation from Police Scotland today that the body discovered on April 18 is indeed that of our missing student David O’Halloran.
“David was a popular and promising student who will be missed across the university community. Our thoughts are with his family and everyone affected at this time.”
The university has launched a new safe taxi scheme this week, which allows students who do not have enough money to get home from nights-out during term time to use their matriculation card and signature as a deposit for the fare.
The initiative has been developed by Stirling’s Students’ Union, 12 local taxi companies, police and Stirling Council.
Sam Gibbs, president of the Students’ Union, said: “For the union and the university, the safety and well-being of our students is paramount.
“The safe taxi scheme is a welcome initiative. It ensures students who go out for a night in town will always be able to get back home safely.
“It is important that, if students do find themselves in a difficult or exceptional situation, there are mechanisms in place to help them get home safely.”
Robert Fowler, chairman of the Stirling Taxi Association, said: “We are pleased to be working with the university to deliver this service which provides a safety net for students in emergency circumstances.
“Stirling is a university city and the drivers from local taxi firms pride themselves on providing an excellent and safe service to students.”