Murder accused told dead man's family to 'stay strong'
Tasmin Glass and two others are alleged to have killed Steven Donaldson in Kirriemuir, Angus.
A woman accused of murdering her boyfriend told his family to "stay strong" after he went missing, a court has heard.
Tasmin Glass, 20, is said to have used Facebook Messenger to contact Lori Robertson, whose brother Steven Donaldson was found dead on a nature reserve in Angus in June 2018.
Ms Robertson told the High Court in Edinburgh she received a message from Glass in the days before Mr Donaldson's body was found.
She said it read: "Love you all. Please stay strong. All of us have to."
Ms Robertson, of Arbroath, was giving evidence on the first day of proceedings against Ms Glass, Steven Dickie, 24, and Callum Davidson, also 24.
The trio - who all come from the Kirriemuir area - deny killing Mr Donaldson in the town between June 6 and June 7 2018.
Ms Robertson said her brother, an offshore worker, had told her he was going to meet Glass shortly before he was last seen.
She told the trial: "Steven was getting ready to go out. He was his usual self. He was happy. He had a fun day out with his friends and he was going out to see more friends.
"I just remember hearing my eldest crying. Steven was just waving up and he was saying he was fine; that he had fallen over - that was the last time I saw him."
Friends later came to the house and showed the family a news story about how a dead body had been discovered at a nature reserve in Kirriemuir.
Ms Robertson said it was at this point she became concerned and spoke to police.
'He appeared to be deceased. He was quite badly charred. He had three large cuts to the back of his head'PC Paul Hosking
The trial also heard from one of the first police officers to arrive at the scene where Mr Donaldson's body was found.
PC Paul Hosking said there was a man's body lying at the side of a car at the Kinnordy Nature Reserve, near Kirriemuir.
He said: "He appeared to be deceased. He was quite badly charred. He had three large cuts to the back of his head."
Mr Hosking said the car was also "quite badly burnt and charred" and its registration plates were missing.
He added: "I didn't know if they had been removed or destroyed by the fire."
Prosecutors claim that between June 6 2018 and June 7 2018, Mr Dickie, Mr Davidson and Ms Glass arranged to meet Mr Donaldson, 27, at Peter Pan Play Park in Kirriemuir, Angus and assaulted him there by repeatedly striking him with "unknown instruments".
The trio are then alleged to have taken Mr Donaldson to the nature reserve car park while he was incapacitated.
Once at the park, the Crown claims that Mr Donaldson was struck on the head and body with a knife, baseball bat, and an "unknown heavy bladed instrument".
The accused are then alleged to have set fire to Mr Donaldson and to his car.
All three plead not guilty and the trial continues.