David Yates, the man suspected of murdering his fiance Marelle Sturrock and their unborn child before apparently taking his own life, is likely to have “pre-planned” her killing, an insider has claimed. The source also dismissed any suggestion that the 35-year-old teacher died as a result of an accident – but was instead the victim of a “brutal, frenzied attack”. She was 29 weeks pregnant.
A police investigation into the death of Ms Sturrock, who was found dead at her home in Jura Street in Glasgow on Tuesday, is underway. However, police are certain Yates, 36, is the killer.
The source told the Sunday Mail: “It is thought to have been pre-planned because David brought the dog to his mum’s house in Bearsden the night before and told her he had plans the next day.
“It is not being considered as an accident – it was a brutal, frenzied attack.”
After the discovery of Ms Sturrock’s body, a manhunt was launched for Yates, with his body found in a reservoir nine miles away in Mugdock Country Park, Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire on Thursday.
A second insider close to the investigation said police had had “previous contact with the couple” before their deaths.
On Friday Scotland’s Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) said it had been instructed to launch the probe after the murder of Marelle Sturrock, who was found dead at her home on Tuesday.
A PIRC spokesman said: “Crown Office and the Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has instructed the PIRC to carry out an investigation into the death of Marelle Sturrock on 25 April 2023 within 91 Jura Street, Glasgow.
“Once our inquires are complete, a report will be submitted to COPFS.”
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A Police Scotland spokesman said: “As this is being investigated by the PIRC we are unable to comment further.”
The headteacher at Sandwood Primary School in Glasgow, where Ms Sturrock worked, said the community is “devastated”.
After Ms Sturrock’s death, the headteacher at Sandwood Primary School in Glasgow, where Ms Sturrock, who was originally from Wick in Caithness, worked, said the entire community was “devastated”.
Fiona Donnelly said: “Marelle has been a much-loved member of our school community since her probationary year more than six years ago and has taught many year groups throughout her time at the school. We will all miss her so much.
“She was a lovely, kind, diligent and considerate person who loved and made time for everyone.
“Marelle used her artistic talents across the school and was our music champion who has been a key player in the success of our school choirs, with one of her classes going to see her on stage at The King’s Theatre in one of her many acting roles outside of school.”
Posting on social media, Ms Sturrock’s sister, Sarah, said: ““I just can’t take this in. They were so happy. Marelle was looking forward to her baby.”
Yates, who like Ms Sturrock had a background in the performing arts, was yesterday revealed as a huge fan of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings obsessed with swords from the fantasy books.
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