A MAJOR investigation is under way after the body of man and his injured female passenger were discovered in a car which had been reported to police as having come off the road three days earlier.
Last night police admitted that they had failed to follow up a report made to them on Sunday morning that a car had come off a road.
Assistant chief constable Kate Thomson, of local policing east, issued a statement saying the couple are believed to be John Yuill, 28, and Lamara Bell, 25, who were reported missing on Monday.
The couple were last seen leaving Loch Earn in the early hours of Sunday morning in a blue car.
Yesterday morning, at around 9:50am, police went to the M9 near junction 9 following a report of one-car collision involving a Renault Clio which had left the road.
Mr Yuill was pronounced dead at the scene.
Emergency services were called to the scene and Ms Bell was rushed to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow where she is in a critical condition, fighting for her life.
On Monday, police issued an appeal for information and a detailed description of the pair after they were last seen in the company of friends in the Loch Earn area of Stirling in the early hours of Sunday morning. Last night, assistant chief constable Thomson said: “As part of our investigation into this incident, it has come to light that a call was made to police late on Sunday morning regarding a car which was reported as being off the road.
“For reasons currently being investigated, that report was not followed up at the time. Following a call this morning, officers attended the scene.
“Officers have notified the families of this update. Our thoughts are with both families at this difficult time.
“A full investigation is currently under way to establish the full circumstances of the incident.”
Police Scotland also confirmed the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (Copfs) had reported the matter to the Police and Investigations Review Commission (PIRC).
PIRC succeeded the former Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland in 2013 at the same time as the new national force came into effect.
On Monday, police issued a description of Mr Yuill and Ms Bell saying their disappearance was “believed to be out of character for both of them”.
Chief Inspector Mandy Paterson had said in the statement: “We are eager to trace them both as soon as possible. Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts is asked to contact police immediately.”
Police also issued a photograph of the couple’s car “in the hope it would jog the memories of those who were in the area”.
Murdo Fraser, Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland, criticised police, saying it was “truly shocking” that the couple lay suffering when the incident had already been reported to police.
“Clearly this is a tragic incident and our thoughts have to be with the family and friends of the couple. It is truly shocking that those people were left in their car for three days without any police follow-up.
“There needs to be a thorough investigation into the circumstances and the findings of the PIRC investigation released to the public as soon as possible.”