The fresh suspects were spotted on Nairn's East Beach Detectives investigating the murder of Alistair Wilson at his home in Nairn 17 years ago are appealing for information about two men seen with a handgun on a beach near the town a month before the fatal shooting.
Following recent appeals for information by Police Scotland, a witness reported seeing two men, one aged in their 20s and the other between 40 and 60 years old on the beach. Officers have been told that the younger man was holding the gun on the beach just weeks before Mr Wilson was shot dead in November 2004.
Detective Superintendent Graeme Mackie, of Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, said officers were seeking the public’s help in identifying to two men.
He said: “We are following up this new information and I would ask anyone with information, or who may be able to identify the men, to please come forward and speak with us.
“This potential sighting was passed to officers following recent publicity around the case and I am grateful for the positive response we have received from the local community.
“As I have said recently, time is no barrier to justice. More than 17 years have passed since Alistair’s murder, but Police Scotland is committed to bringing his killer to justice and providing the family with the answers they deserve.
“Someone out there knows what happened to Alistair and developments in the investigation over the last few weeks are a vital reminder that it is never too late to come forward with information, no matter how small or insignificant you may think it is.”
The fresh appeal follows a review of witness accounts and analysis of timings of the shooting
At around 7pm, Mr Wilson's wife Veronica opened the door of the house to a stocky man, who was originally believed to have been aged 30-40, 5ft 4in to 5ft 7in, and was wearing a dark jacket and baseball cap. He asked for Mr Wilson.
Mr Wilson spoke to the man and was handed an empty blue envelope with the word Paul written on it. He went back inside to speak to his wife before returning to the door, where he was fatally shot.
The gun was recovered from a nearby drain 10 days later.
A Haenel Schmeisser, a 1920s German handgun known as a pocket pistol because of its small size, was confirmed as the murder weapon but tests failed to extract any usable DNA.
Detectives recently altered the description of the man they want to trace in connection with the murder.
They now believe he may have been aged between 20 and 40 years old at the time. This would mean he is now aged in his mid-30s to almost 60 years old.
He was approximately 5ft 7in tall and was wearing a baseball cap and jacket.
Anyone who believes they can assist police is asked to contact 101 quoting incident 515 of 4 March 2022 and Operation Sorn or you can e-mail a dedicated inbox at [email protected]