TV appeal to catch Aberdeenshire killer finds no new leads

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A TV appeal to help catch a pensioner’s killer has failed to provide police with any new leads.

Brian McKandie’s body was discovered at his rural bungalow in Aberdeenshire, on March 12 this year. Police believe his attackers visited the mechanic’s house, which is in Badenscoth near the village of Rothienorman, the night before the grim discovery was made.

Described as a “hardworking”, “unassuming” and “very private” man, Mr McKandie was beaten up with a “heavy” weapon then left to die while his killers fled the scene. But the case has left officers stumped - with no suspects, no motive and no weapon recovered seven months after the murder inquiry was launched.

It is now one of the longest unsolved murders in Police Scotland’s short history.

Lead investigator Detective Chief Inspector Iain Smith appeared on the BBC’s Crimewatch alongside Mr McKandie’s brother William last month in an appeal for new information. However it emerged yesterday that, although several people came forward after the TV plea, no new leads were found.

Det Ch Insp Smith said: “We got a few lines of investigation, which we have pursued. Once we delved into them we established that it was things we were already aware of.

“We are still heavily involved in the forensics. That is an ongoing process.

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“We’re doing all that we possibly can to explore every investigative opportunity that we can find with the forensics. It may well present us with our best opportunity for solving this.”

Police have taken more than 900 witness statements from people who were in the area at the time but with no success. And detectives believe fresh DNA evidence recovered from the bungalow may by the key to unmasking the killer.

Two men were seen visiting the rural property on the Friday evening and have yet to be traced.

Police now hope to run the DNA against various Europe-wide databases to check for matches. A large scale DNA screening across the area may be one way to catch the killer.

Police believe the self-employed 67-year-old mechanic could have been killed by someone who knew him.

A murder inquiry was launched after a post-mortem examination revealed he had died from blunt force head injuries and a reward of up to 10,000 pounds has been offered to anyone who can help make sure his attackers are arrested.

On the day of his death, Mr McKandie had visited his local bank in Turriff then popped into a garage to speak to a friend before returning home.

Two men were spotted at his house by passing motorists later that day. The first man was described as being between 40 and 50 years old with a heavy build and dark hair. The second male was described as 20 to 30 years old with a thinner build and blonde, possibly collar length, hair.

Police are also keen to trace a “boxy” maroon or burgundy coloured estate car, possibly a Volvo, with a discoloured panel on the drivers side that was seen at the house between 1.30pm and 2pm on the Friday.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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