[<< wikinews] Scotland: Northern Constabulary launch murder investigation over teen death
Monday, December 5, 2011 

In Scotland, the Northern Constabulary are now treating the death of a man in the Western Isles as murder, having performed an autopsy. The police force has now launched a murder inquiry.

The body of sixteen-year-old Liam Aitchison was discovered in an abandoned building in the village of Steinish, on the island of Lewis, during the last week. Detective Chief Inspector Kenny Anderson has spoken of the major inquiry team drafted in to investigate and of the "very positive" local reaction.
The last time Aitchinson was sighted was at approximately 2200 GMT on November 22 of this year, according to The Guardian. At this time, he was taken "to an address outside Stornoway", according to a taxi driver hired by him. He was reported missing on November 23. 
On the date of his disappearance, Aitchison was due to be sentenced in court on a charge of assault, having allegedly attacked an ambulance driver. The Northern Constabulary has a particular interest in trying to locate "witnesses who may have seen three people wearing hooded type tops, who were seen walking in the Steinish village area shortly after midnight on Tuesday 22 November into the early hours of Wednesday 23 November," according to Anderson.
The family of Liam Aitchison were brought in to give his body a formal identification. They are currently appealing for witnesses; in a statement, they said: "We beg you: if you have any information and have not brought it forward as yet, we urge you, please go to the police." They stressed that they would be unable to "get peace" without such assistance.
The crime rate in the Western Isles is amongst the lowest for any region in the United Kingdom. The last murder inquiry in the Western Isles occurred in 1968.

== Sources ==
Severin Carrell. "Western Isles police launch first murder inquiry for over 40 years" — The Guardian, December 5, 2011
 "Uist man Liam Aitchison's death treated as murder" — BBC News Online, December 5, 2011

== External links ==
Northern Constabulary statement