Police investigating the brutal murder of a north-east mechanic in his own home have now confirmed he was killed with a weapon.
Brian McKandie died at his rural cottage on the outskirts of Rothienorman nearly two weeks ago, but it was only last Friday that officers announced they were treating it as suspicious.
Now the man leading the investigation has confirmed the 67-year-old was attacked with a weapon, which they are still searching for.
Earlier this week, Detective Chief Iain Smith said his team were not ruling out the possibility he knew his killer and appealed for two men seen at his cottage at Badenscoth in the hours before his death on March 11 to come forward.
DCI Smith stressed the two men, thought to be in their 20s and 30s, who were seen outside Fairview Cottages between 5pm and 6pm, could be essential to piecing together Mr McKandie’s final hours.
And now the detective has appealed for another two men also seen in outside a few hours earlier, between 1pm and 2pm.
The first man is thought to be in his 50s, with a heavy set build. The second has only been described as “younger”.
At the time, the pair are thought to have been beside a burgundy or maroon estate car in Mr McKandie’s driveway leading up to his house.
Yesterday, DCI Smith said: “It may be that the second set of men we are looking to speak to are the same as the first two, or it could be another pair, however we are appealing for these men to come forward or to anyone who may have seen them talking to Mr McKandie.
“A number of members of the public have come forward with dashboard camera footage and information and we continue to appeal for people to do so as this may be relevant to our inquiries. We are particularly looking for people to come forward who were in the area of Rothienorman on the B9001 past Badenscoth on Friday, March 11.
“We can confirm that a weapon was used during this brutal murder and we are carrying out searches for any kind of instrument which may have been used.”
Mr McKandie – who was described by his family as a “genial chap” – was well-known in the community, particularly for his handyman skills.
Police found his body on March 12, after a worried friend raised the alarm when they could not contact him.
Anyone with information should call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.