A dead man and seriously injured woman have been found in a car three days after police were told it had crashed near a busy motorway.
An investigation has been launched into the police failure to follow up reports of the crash which is believed to have involved John Yuill, 28, and 25-year-old Lamara Bell.
Police Scotland said officers were called to the M9 near Stirling yesterday following a report that a Renault Clio had gone off the road.
The male driver of the car was pronounced dead at the scene, while the female passenger was taken to hospital in Glasgow where she is in critical condition.
Police confirmed they received a call late on Sunday morning about a car which was off the road but the report was not followed up at the time.
Officers believe the crash is connected to the search for the couple who were last seen in the company of friends on the south shore of Loch Earn, Stirlingshire, in the early hours of Sunday.
Assistant Chief Constable Kate Thomson, of Local Policing East, said: “It has come to light that a call was made to police late on Sunday morning regarding a car which was reported as being off the road. For reasons currently being investigated, that report was not followed up at the time.
“Officers have notified the families of this update. Our thoughts are with both families at this difficult time.
“A full investigation is currently under way to establish the full circumstances of the incident.”
The matter has been referred to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner by the Crown Office (Pirc).
A spokesman for the Pirc said: “The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has directed the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner to carry out an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 28-year-old man and serious injury of a 25-year-old woman following an incident at the M9 southbound near junction nine at Bannockburn on July 8.”