Date: 17 Sep 2013
Stefan Sutherland was found dead on a beach 11 days after he went missing following a night out.
It was initially thought that his death was suicide or accidental. His post-mortem said that he died from a head injury resulting from a fall from a cliff.
The police said that he must have thrown himself over the cliff or fallen whilst taking a short-cut back home after his night out. However, it was said that there was no evidence to back that up.
However, his family later appealed for his body to be exhumed and his death investigated as murder. They claimed that he had been murdered on land and then dumped out at sea.
It was reported that his family and friends said that they knew who killed Stefan Sutherland and claimed that the killer had boasted about killing him.
He was last seen on 6 September 2013 during a night out in Lybster drinking in the Bayview Hotel, and his body was found on 17 September 2013 on the beach near Occumster, Lybster.
It was heard that blood was found at a house he visited shortly before he disappeared. It was said that Stefan Sutherland had visited the house shortly before he disappeared but the police didn't examine it for forensic evidence until repeated requests to do so by Stefan Sutherland's family, by which time the property had a new tenant. However, it was found that when they did examine the property, they found Stefan Sutherland's DNA in traces of blood there on a wall in the living room and on a light switch.
His family said that the evidence indicated that Stefan Sutherland was beaten in the house.
It was also said that when his body was found that it was badly decomposed, which it was claimed was not consistent with it having been in the cold salt water of the North Sea since he disappeared.
It was said that the local rumours were that Stefan Sutherland's body was stored in a caravan for up to three days before it was dumped in the sea.
It was also hear that one of his finger joints had been pulled apart and that his front teeth had been knocked out. It was also said that he had not died from drowning and so must have been dead before he went into the water. He also had a broken leg and a fractured skull.
His family claimed that the supposed short cut that Stefan Sutherland was alleged to have made would have taken longer and been difficult to hike at night. The night was described as having been a very dark night.
It was also stated that in late 2018, two men who had initially given the man that the family believe murdered Stefan Sutherland an alibi after Stefan Sutherland's body was found, admitted to the police that they had lied out of fear for the man that the family believe murdered Stefan Sutherland.
It was also stated that there was no evidence that Stefan Sutherland was suicidal.
Stefan Sutherland had lived in Caithness.
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