Police have confirmed that a body found in an Aberdeenshire harbour is that of a missing north man at the centre of a huge missing person inquiry.
Lachlan Simpson, of Embo, was reported missing on Monday, July 27 after failing to return home from the Dornoch Show dance. He was last seen outside the marquee tent at about 1.30am on Sunday, July 26.
His body was discovered by a local man at Whitehills Harbour, Banff, on Wednesday September 2.
Mr Simpson’s family have been informed and issued a statement through police.
It read: “We are all shocked and saddened by this news as we always kept hope that Lachlan would return home safe and well. There has always been hope that we would hear his voice and see his cheeky smile again.
“We would like to thank Police Scotland, the other emergency services, friends, family and the whole community for all their efforts and support in searching for Lachlan. We as a family have been overwhelmed by the love that has been shown to our son and brother.
“The family would like to be left alone at this time to come to terms with the news but thank each and every one of you.”
Following Mr Simpson’s disappearance a huge search operation was launched.
This involved police divers, dog units and a helicopter, RAF and local mountain rescue teams, Search & Rescue Dog Association Scotland and Coastguard personnel from across the Highlands.
Highland and Islands Chief Inspector Iain MacLelland said: “A large scale search operation and investigation was launched following Lachlan’s disappearance during which the overwhelming response from the local community played a major part.
“Police Scotland is extremely grateful to everyone who assisted in providing and sharing information in addition to taking part in ground searches.
“We hope that this identification provides some form of closure for Lachlan’s family who have our deepest sympathies at this very difficult time, extending to the wider communities of Dornoch and Embo during their loss of a popular and much loved young man.”