Teenager gun deaths investigated

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The Independent Online

A major police investigation is continuing after two teenagers were found dead with gunshot wounds at a cottage in the Highlands.

A 16-year-old girl and a man aged 18 were found at the property near Tomintoul in Moray on Tuesday evening.

Grampian Police said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

Thirty detectives are attempting to piece together events which led to the teenagers' deaths.

Fingertip searches were being carried out at the three-bedroom property in the Blairnamarrow area today.

The pair who died were named locally as schoolgirl Sophie Taylor and trainee gamekeeper Callum Murray.

Residents of Tomintoul have been left shocked by the "terrible tragedy".

Businessman Dru McPherson said: "Sophie was a charming, intelligent young lady and very well liked."

Mr McPherson, who owns the Clockhouse restaurant and has lived in the village for 25 years, said: "It's very, very sad. People are shocked, horrified.

"Everyone knows the family and you can't imagine the pain and grief that this will have caused them."

Ms Taylor is understood to have been a pupil at Speyside High School in Aberlour.

Locals said Mr Murray, who was not from the village, had been working on the Glenavon estate.

A spokeswoman for the estate said: "Glenavon Estate Ltd regrets to confirm that an 18-year-old man and a 16-year-old woman died in an incident at a property on the estate last night.

"The estate extends its deepest condolences to the families of those involved and is co-operating fully with Grampian Police who are investigating the circumstances."

Moray councillor Fiona Murdoch said: "It seems like a terrible tragedy. For two young people to have died is absolutely horrendous, whatever the circumstances may be."

Detective Inspector Stewart Mackie from Grampian Police said: "This incident will shock the community both within Tomintoul and Grampian as a whole."

He added: "Investigations into the circumstances surrounding the two deaths are at an early stage, however it is important to stress that we are not looking for any third party at this point."

Speaking at Lecht Ski Centre, around three miles away, Mr Mackie said he was keeping an open mind about what happened.

It is understood one of the bodies was found inside the cottage and another in the grounds of the property.

The A939 was shut between the ski gates at Tomintoul and Corgarff as investigations take place.