I don’t suppose there’s a typical place for a murder to be, and nor should there be.
The thought of young mum-of-two Kiesha Donaghy being killed in a violent attack on Anderson Drive in New Elgin is truly shocking though.
I lived on the street for over three years when I first moved to Elgin in 2016.
My wife and I enjoyed the close-knit community of the Free State so much that we bought a house only three streets away.
At a time when there are periodic stories about people not knowing their neighbours, I value living somewhere that I’m comfortable to stop and chat to so many of mine.
It makes the murder on Anderson Drive in Elgin all the more shocking and difficult to understand for those who live here.
Life on Anderson Drive in New Elgin
Like any neighbourhood, Anderson Drive isn’t perfect.
There was that one person with too much time on their hands who kept throwing carpet tacks and screws over the road.
The traffic around the school could be hellish at times and the gulls were truly awful.
But when I hear people talk about Anderson Drive and neighbouring Meadow Crescent and Croft Road, it’s as if it’s an area to avoid.
In more than seven years living here, I don’t recognise the tone people adopt when they talk about the area.
The area is one of the most deprived in Moray, according to the Scottish Government’s index of multiple deprivation.
What some people see as reasons to stigmatise it are mainly simply people trying to live in sometimes the most difficult of circumstances.
I had neighbours who were single mothers starting again after escaping abusive relationships. I lived next to people battling crippling addictions to drugs and alcohol and families who had moved to Scotland to start a new life.
People just wanted to live their lives though. Police cars on Anderson Drive were rare, and certainly not for anything violent.
I mainly saw officers on the streets to monitor the parking problems at the school gates, which have now thankfully got better.
I didn’t know Kiesha. I don’t know what her circumstances were.
But I know her and her family don’t deserve what happened and I can only hope someone somewhere will come forward with information.
Shocking sight of police investigating Elgin murder
Violent crime is thankfully rare in New Elgin, which makes Kiesha’s murder on Anderson Drive all the more shocking.
It’s a tragic coincidence it has happened just 300 yards from the home where Arlene Fraser disappeared from. The size of the investigation has perhaps brought back memories for some.
I admit my heart stopped though when I saw the number of police vans on Bezack Street late last week.
And I struggled to comprehend I was actually seeing forensics officers going through drains. It just isn’t what happens in our community.
As we come to terms with what has happened on our collective doorstep, we must all try to remember crimes like this are thankfully incredibly rare in Elgin.
Not to diminish what has happened to Kiesha, but to hold on to the best bits of our community and to make sure what she and her family are going through never happens again.
David Mackay is a Press and Journal reporter based in Elgin. He lived on Anderson Drive for three years and still stays in New Elgin.