An 83-year-old dog walker has died and two others are in a serious condition after an alleged attack in a Moray woodland.
Police were called to Birkenhill Woods, about a mile south of Elgin, following reports of two separate incidents at the rural location.
Last night, police confirmed that a man had died.
Another man and a woman, both aged 70, are in hospital with serious but non life-threatening injuries.
A 35-year-old man has been arrested by police in connection with the incident, which happened around 9am yesterday.
Detective Inspector Brian Geddes described the death as a “tragic incident” and said his and his colleagues’ thoughts were with the man’s family.
He added: “ I know the circumstances will understandably cause concern within the local community, particularly because incidents of this nature are so incredibly rare.
“A man has been arrested and as our investigation continues, I urge anyone with information to contact us.
“While our inquiries continue, additional patrols will be carried out in the area and I would urge anyone with concerns to speak to any of our officers.”
Forensic officers spent most of yesterday in the woodland – which is popular with dog walkers and bikers – trying to piece-together what happened.
A police helicopter also circled the woods and a housing estate on the southern perimeter of the town during the evening.
Horrified neighbours reported seeing officers come and go throughout the day as as more staff joined the operation at the site near the A941 Rothes road.
One said: “I’ve seen the police coming and going all day, some of them have turned round outside the house. I don’t know what happened though.”
Another said: “There were a lot of sirens in the morning and I saw police and ambulances rushing past the house. There’s been more going past slowly during the day.
“It can be quite a busy place with dog walkers, everything has appeared normal all day though.”
Anyone with information should contact police by calling 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.