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Keiss 'murder suicide' woman named locally – witness reports strange behaviour


By David G Scott

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The woman whose body was recovered from the grounds of Keiss Castle on Sunday evening, after a 74-year-old was murdered, has been named locally as Caroline Copland.

Ms Copland is believed to have moved from Dingwall and there were earlier suggestions she may have had connections to Dundee. The 39-year-old's body was later found along the driveway of Keiss Castle after she had taken her life.

The scene at Robertson Crescent in Keiss as police investigations got underway after a 74-year-old man was murdered on Sunday. Picture: Emma Fairweather
The scene at Robertson Crescent in Keiss as police investigations got underway after a 74-year-old man was murdered on Sunday. Picture: Emma Fairweather

There are no updates or official confirmations of the identities of the two deceased but locals have said the man was seen visiting before and the two may be related.

Chief inspector Brian Geddes said: “Following concerns being raised, around 12.05am on Sunday, 2 July the body of a 74-year-old man was found within a property at Robertson Crescent in Keiss. His death is being treated as murder.

Wick lifeboat searches for the woman in Sinclair's Bay near Keiss harbour. Picture: DGS
Wick lifeboat searches for the woman in Sinclair's Bay near Keiss harbour. Picture: DGS
Coastguard helicopter was seen hovering over the area on Sunday afternoon. Picture; DGS
Coastguard helicopter was seen hovering over the area on Sunday afternoon. Picture; DGS

“The body of a 39-year-old woman was found within the grounds of Keiss Castle around 8pm on the same day during a police search. An investigation is ongoing but we are treating these incidents as linked and contained, with no risk to the wider public.

“A police presence will remain in the area while our investigation continues."

A local man, who did not wish to be identified, said that the woman appears to have had a "troubled life" and said she had previously appeared in court. A Caroline Copland from Dingwall, aged 34 at the time, appeared in private at Inverness Sheriff Court in June 2018 for "threatening behaviour".

Coastguard searching for the missing woman on Sunday afternoon near the remains of old Keiss Castle. Picture; DGS
Coastguard searching for the missing woman on Sunday afternoon near the remains of old Keiss Castle. Picture; DGS

Related articles:

Woman's body found on Keiss Castle grounds after murder in village

Condolences from council leader after 'murder-suicide' at Keiss

"The first time I met her she said she liked going hunting with her ferret and her dog," said the Keiss man.

"It was like a whippet or a lurcher and she was always with the dog – she never left the house without it, in fact."

He says that the police presence has disappeared in the village now and the last time he saw them was on Monday when they were observed searching along the shore at Keiss.

"I thought they were possibly looking for the weapon. The thing is they've not actually asked the public to come forward with any information. She was seen walking along the shore without her dog on the Saturday – a matter of hours before the police appeared at her door.

A witness said he saw the woman acting strangely along the shoreline at Keiss on Saturday afternoon. Picture: DGS
A witness said he saw the woman acting strangely along the shoreline at Keiss on Saturday afternoon. Picture: DGS

"She had her hands wrapped in a blanket or a shawl as if she was concealing something – it looked a bit peculiar. I'm surprised the police haven't asked for information. That was in the afternoon and then the incident [police arriving at Robertson Crescent] happened at midnight."

The man said he heard that some of the older women in the village were struggling to sleep in the early hours of Sunday as they had "heard rumours a murderer was on the loose".

The woman's body was recovered from the driveway of Keiss Castle. There is an older Keiss Castle close by which is now ruinous. Picture: DGS
The woman's body was recovered from the driveway of Keiss Castle. There is an older Keiss Castle close by which is now ruinous. Picture: DGS

"It caused a lot of alarm in Keiss. The village is very quiet, generally. There was an incident with someone trying to cut someone's throat with an electric carving knife but that was a long time ago.

"It's very rare that there are incidents in Keiss."




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