Police divers search reservoir and officers scour woodland in hunt for missing fiancé of heavily pregnant teacher, 35, after she was found dead with her unborn child in ‘suspicious’ circumstances in her Scottish home – as neighbours pay tribute
- Marelle Sturrock was found dead at the flat she shared with David Yates
- Her sister today revealed the family are ‘utterly devastated’ following her death
Police have begun scouring a reservoir and woodland in the search for the missing fiancé of a heavily pregnant teacher found dead with her unborn child in ‘suspicious’ circumstances at their home.
Marelle Sturrock, 35, was found dead at the flat she shared with David Yates, 36, in Jura Street, Glasgow, on Tuesday morning. Her unborn child had also died.
Police Scotland is treating the death as suspicious and linked to an ongoing search for a missing man, whom the force have not identified, at Mugdock Country Park. MailOnline understands the missing man to be her partner Mr Yates.
The park, located eight miles north of the couple’s property, is being meticulously combed by police officers today. The 600-acre site is made up of woodland, moorland and heathland and is connected by a network of paths.
Officers were seen searching the woodland this morning, before a team of divers arrived at Mugdock Reservoir.
David Yates, 36, is being hunted by police today after the death of his fiancée Marelle Sturrock, 35, who was found dead at home on Tuesday
Marelle Sturrock (pictured on April 8) was heavily pregnant when she died in suspicious circumstances. Her unborn child also died
It comes as Sarah Sturrock, Marelle’s sister, today shared the family’s heartbreak, writing: ‘There are no words how utterly devastating this is for us as a family & how we are going to cope without her..
‘How this could of happened to her I will never get my head around this.’
Ms Sturrock had worked as a teacher at Sandwood Primary School for more than six years and led its choirs. She was also a keen actress outside the school.
Fiona Donnelly, the headteacher of Sandwood Primary School, said: ‘Marelle had 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 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 in one of her many acting roles outside of school.
‘We are a school community in mourning and devastated by the tragic news of her death.’
Parents at the school also paid tribute today, describing Ms Sturrock as ‘a lovely person’ who treated pupils ‘as if they were her own children’.
One parent said: ‘So lovely, so very loveable and friendly. She always helped the children if they were upset or emotional – she would make them feel very loved. I am just in shock.
Another added: ‘She treated the kids like her own. She picked them up, she made them feel confident within themselves. She was just a lovely person. It is really sad and tragic. She is never going to be a mum herself and at such a young age, it is just tragic.’
Police Scotland officers pictured close to Muglock Reservoir on Thursday morning as the search continues
Police officers are seen meticulously combing Mugdock Country Park today, eight miles north of their property
The 270-hectare site is made up of woodland, moorland and heathland and is connected by a network of paths
The exterior of the flat the pair shared in Glasgow, where Ms Sturrock was found dead on Tuesday morning
Police Scotland confirmed the death is being treated as suspicious and is linked to an ongoing search for a missing person – who they have not identified – at Mugdock Country Park
A manhunt is under way after heavily pregnant primary school teacher Marelle Sturrock, 35, was found dead at her home in Glasgow. Pictured: her final photo, with friends, on Sunday
Colleagues are understood to have raised the alarm when she did not arrive for work at school.
Friends went to her flat and became suspicious when she did not answer the door.
Helicopter search teams could be seen flying above the park as the hunt for the ‘missing person’ intensified yesterday.
Ms Sturrock, originally from Wick, Caithness, had posted a picture on social media just days earlier of her enjoying a dinner with friends in Glasgow.
The couple’s flat was cordoned off and under police guard yesterday, as two officers in white forensic suits scoured the property.
Police are still in attendance at both sites and officers, dog units and a helicopter were all dispatched yesterday.
In a letter sent to the families of pupils yesterday, the school said: ‘It is with deep sorrow that I must inform you about the sudden death of Ms Sturrock who is a beloved member of our teaching staff.
‘I know that this will come as a shock to our school community, and we will do all that we can to support children, staff and families through what will be a difficult and challenging time.
‘I hope that you will understand that there are no other details that I can share at this time but wanted to let our families know the tragic news from the school.’
Marelle Sturrock, pictured with Yates, was discovered at the property in the Craigton area of the city at around 8.40am yesterday, after police received a ‘concern for person’ call
Police at the scene of a search for a missing person at Mugdock Park near Glasgow
Ms Sturrock, whose due date was in July, lived with her fiancé Mr Yates. It is understood the pair got engaged in 2015.
According to neighbours, the couple would sometimes visit Mugdock Country Park to walk their dog.
Neighbour Alex Collie said his wife had spotted Ms Sturrock’s worried colleagues at the house on Tuesday morning.
He told the Daily Record: ‘My wife walked past when they were at the house.
‘They were knocking on the door and seemed worried. I think concern was raised when she didn’t show up for work.
‘A few hours later we saw the police here. We got the shock of our life when we heard what had happened to Marelle. It’s tragic. I can’t believe it.’
Mr Yates’s mother Lynda would not comment yesterday but was being looked after by family at her home in Bearsden, Dunbartonshire.
Pupils at Sandwood Primary School are being supported after the tragedy.
Detective Chief Inspector Cheryl Kelly said: ‘Our thoughts are with Marelle’s family and friends, as well as everyone affected by this tragic incident.
‘We are providing her family with support at this incredibly difficult time as our investigation to establish the full circumstances continues.’
Ms Sturrock, whose due date was in July, lived with her fiancé Mr Yates. Pictured: The living room inside the flat where the couple lived together
It is understood the pair got engaged in 2015. Pictured: The kitchen inside the flat they shared together
Friends went to her flat and became suspicious when she did not answer the door. Pictured: A garden at the rear of the property
Sandwood Primary School, where Ms Sturrock (pictured with her dog) worked, confirmed her death in a letter to families of those with children at the school
Ms Sturrock’s death is currently being treated as suspicious
Previously Detective Chief Inspector Kelly said: ’Officers have been carrying out extensive searches of Mugdock Country Park in relation to a missing person in the area.
‘This is being treated as linked to the death at Jura Street and enquiries remain ongoing.
’Our thoughts are very much with everyone affected by this tragic incident. There is not believed to be any risk to the wider public but anyone with information or concerns can contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident 0904 of 25 April.
’A police presence will remain at both locations as enquiries continue and anyone with information is also urged to speak to any of our officers.’
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