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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Miriam Burrell and Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Marelle Sturrock: Police confirm body found near Glasgow belongs to murdered teacher’s partner David Yates

Detectives have confirmed a body pulled from a reservoir near Glasgow on Thursday belongs to the partner of murdered pregnant teacher Marelle Sturrock.

Police launched a murder investigation after the body of Ms Sturrock, 35, was found at her home in Jura Street, Glasgow, on Tuesday morning.

She was 29 weeks pregnant and her unborn baby did not survive.

Police Scotland confirmed on Friday afternoon that the body of a man recovered on Thursday after searches of Mugdock Reservoir, north of Glasgow, has been formally identified as 36-year-old David Yates.

His death is not being treated as suspicious.

Police said he was wanted in connection with the death of his partner, and that while an investigation is continuing there is nothing to suggest anyone else was involved in her death.

Marelle Sturrock, 35, was reportedly heavily pregnant when she diedat her home in Jura Street (Facebook)

Detective Superintendent Nicola Kilbane said, following the discovery of the body on Thursday: “Our thoughts are with Marelle’s family and friends, along with everyone affected by this tragedy.

“We are providing her family with specialist support at this incredibly difficult time.”

Mr Yates’ car, a white Seat Ateca, was found at Mugdock Country Park - around eight miles north of Ms Sturrock’s home - on Tuesday, sparking an extensive search of the area.

Earlier, Police Scotland said the last confirmed sighting of Mr Yates had been on Sunday evening shortly after 8pm.

“His subsequent movements are unknown after his vehicle was left at Mugdock Country Park but there is nothing to suggest he has left the area,” Detective Superintendent Nicola Kilbane said in a previous statement.

Police divers at the scene at Mugdock Country Park, during the search for Mr Yates (Lucinda Cameron/PA Wire)

Police Scotland found Ms Sturrock’s body just after 8.40am on Tuesday.

Her sister told of her family’s devastation.

Sarah Sturrock said: “There are no words [for] how utterly devastating this is for us as a family and how we are going to cope without her.

“How this could of happened to her, I will never get my head around this.”

She said that the death was “heartbreaking”.

Ms Sturrock had posted a photo of herself enjoying a meal out with friends just days before her death (Facebook)

Colleagues and friends were reportedly concerned when Ms Sturrock did not show up for work at Sandwood Primary School.

Headteacher Fiona Donnelly said the school community is “devastated”.

“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.

Marelle Sturrock (PA)

“We are a school community in mourning and are devasted by the tragic news of her death and pass on our deepest condolences to her family and friends as we all come to terms with our loss.”

Parents at the school were told of the death in a letter on Wednesday and education psychologists are on hand to support pupils.

Ms Sturrock had posted a photo of herself enjoying a meal out with friends just days before her death. Friends and former colleagues have also paid tribute to the teacher.

One former colleague wrote: “Stunned and saddened to read of the loss of this beautiful young woman.

“I worked with Marelle 15 years ago and she was a vibrant and special woman. She arranged a birthday party for me and made me a CD of her singing and I’d known her less than a week by then.

“She was a force to be reckoned with and I expect has left an imprint on many people’s lives.”

Police Scotland confirmed the death of Marelle Sturrock, 35, at a home in Jura Street, Glasgow on Tuesday morning is being treated as murder (Facebook)

Another wrote: “Such awful sad news. Marelle was such a lovely lassie, so talented and about to be a mumma. Heart breaks for her whole family.”

The Glasgow Light Opera Club and the Wick Players, a local drama club, have praised Ms Sturrock’s singing and performing talents.

Wick Players said Ms Sturrock was an “active member” when she was a teenager.

“She was a very talented young lady both with her singing and her acting...she followed her dream by doing drama and music studies at university,” the group said in a statement.

The Glasgow Light Opera Club said Ms Sturrock had a “breathtaking talent”.

“A kind, generous and talented soul who inspired all of us lucky enough to know her. The stage will never be the same but your light will forever shine.”

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