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Man found dead near car day after vehicle reported to police

Circumstances around death of Peter Ritchie in Kippen, Stirlingshire, probed by watchdog.

Peter Ritchie: Watchdog probe police over man's death.
Peter Ritchie: Watchdog probe police over man's death.

A missing man was found dead metres away from his car 24 hours after a member of the public reported the vehicle to police.

Peter Ritchie's body was discovered by officers in woodland in Kippen, Stirlingshire, on Monday metres away from where the car was abandoned.

It is understood a member of the public reported the vehicle in an area near Woodstone Road to police on Sunday.

Officers were sent out but the car was not found until around 24 hours later following a second call.

Prosecutors have now told watchdog the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) to probe the circumstances surrounding the 42-year-old's death, which police say is being treated as unexplained.

A statement on behalf of Mr Ritchie's family said: "Peter was a much loved son and brother and as a family, we have been left devastated by his death.

"It will take time to come to terms with this loss and as such, we would ask for our privacy to be respected so that we can grieve in peace."

A spokesman for the PIRC said: "The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has instructed the PIRC to investigate the circumstances leading up to the discovery of the body of Peter Ritchie, 42, near the village of Kippen, Stirlingshire, on Monday 30 January 2017.

"The investigation will focus on the actions of Police Scotland when responding to telephone calls made by members of the public and family on Sunday 29 January 2017 and Monday 30 January 2017.

"A report on the Commissioner's findings will be submitted to the COPFS in due course."

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "Police in Stirlingshire are investigating following the death of a man in a wooded area near to Woodstone Road, Kippen.

"The body was discovered in the area around 10.45pm on Monday, January 30.

"The death is currently being treated as unexplained and enquiries are currently ongoing to establish the full circumstances. A report will be sent to the procurator fiscal."

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