It is believed a Ford Kuga SUV recovered from a quiet residential street in Kirknewton is directly linked to the former boxer’s murder.
The grey motor was removed on a low-loader by Police Scotland from the West Lothian village’s Kaimes Avenue on Saturday April 20.
Details of the twist in the murder investigation emerged today - more than a week after the motor was taken to a secure garage compound to be combed for clues by forensic experts.
The Ford was identified from CCTV images captured by security cameras in the West End near Mr Welsh’s Chester Street home.
Mr Welsh, 48, was gunned down with a single shot as he went to enter his basement apartment following a gym training session. A neighbour he had spoken to seconds earlier tried to save his life with CPR but he was declared dead at the scene by paramedics.
The murder prompted a massive outpouring of sympathy for Mr Welsh, who appeared in Trainspotting 2, his partner and their two children. His partner, daughter and step-son were in the apartment at the time he was shot.
So far, two men have been arrested, questioned and released by officers about the shooting on Wednesday April 17. Police have released a description of their prime suspect, who is said to have a tanned complexion and may have posed as a jogger before sneaking up behind Mr Welsh and pulling the trigger.
Images of the Ford now linked to the shooting were released today in an attempt to prompt any fresh witnesses who may have seen it in the West End’s William Street or in or nearby Chester Street at the time of the 7.30pm shooting and later as it made its way through to the city to West Lothian.
One line of investigation is that the killer, possibly driven by an accomplice, switched vehicles in Kirknewton. Officers want to hear from anyone who witnessed it arriving in Kaimes Avenue around 9pm on the night of the shooting and who may have spotted another unknown motor parked nearby.
Police Scotland today revealed that the Ford was not torched - giving scenes of crimes experts a chance of recovering forensic evidence.
It was fitted with the fake number plates, bearing the registration CX68XVV , and is believed to have been stolen.
Detective Superintendent Allan Burton, from Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, said: “We are still undertaking significant lines of inquiry in our investigation and would now like to ask for assistance from the public in helping us establish the movements of this Ford Kuga.
“We want to hear from anyone who saw the vehicle in and around Chester Street prior to the incident. This will help us identify any occupants and the route taken prior to arriving in Kirknewton.
“If you believe you have information about the Ford Kuga, those who utilised it, or anything else that may be of relevance to our ongoing inquiries then please come forward.”
Those with information can contact the Major Investigation Team via 101 and quote incident number 3782 of the 17th April. Alternatively an anonymous report can be sent to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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