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P&J Investigations

Missing from The Broch: Our documentary reveals new details surrounding Shaun Ritchie’s disappearance

Sean O'Neil

On Halloween night 2014, Shaun Ritchie travelled in a van to a remote farmhouse a few miles from Fraserburgh with seven other people.

He has never been seen again.

This year marks the eighth anniversary of the 20-year-old’s disappearance which sparked the biggest manhunt in Police Scotland’s history at the time.

Our exclusive new documentary, Missing from The Broch: The disappearance of Shaun Ritchie, takes a fresh look at Shaun’s case, speaking to those who knew him best in his friends and family, as well as the officers and scientists who led the search.

Our investigation brings to the light never-before-released information about the night of Shaun’s disappearance, including an alleged axe attack, and the police case which remains open to this day.

Who is Shaun Ritchie?

missing man Shaun Ritchie
Shaun Ritchie

Shaun Ritchie is a 20-year-old man from Fraserburgh who lived with his mum and sister in The Broch up until the day of October 31,  2014 when he left with some friends to go out and celebrate Halloween.

Where was he last seen?

The last known location of Shaun is Kersiehill Farm near Strichen, less than 10 miles from Fraserburgh.

Eight people travelled to the remote farmhouse shortly after 10pm on Halloween night, one has still never made it home. Kersiehill Farm was put up for sale less than a year later.

What happened to him?

Despite the huge search operation to locate Shaun Ritchie, the young man has still never been found.

Missing from The Broch: The disappearance of Shaun Ritchie unveils what those at the farmhouse told police that night and uncovers other information that his family remained in the dark about for nearly seven years.

After the Shaun Ritchie documentary

Since the release of our documentary Missing from The Broch: The Disappearance of Shaun Ritchie, The Press and Journal have continued our quest for answers on the case.

We revealed that expert grave finder Dr Alastair Ruffell believes his new sonar drone technology could help assist officers in a fresh search for the missing man.

expert grave finder Dr Alastair Ruffell
Dr Alastair Ruffell

Dr Ruffell was involved in the original search for Shaun but told The Press and Journal he does not consider that operation “high-assurance” due to the limitations, both technological and geographical, placed upon it.

However the renowned scientist is confident that if Shaun had been in the part of the bog near Kersiehill Farm he did search, then he would have found him.

The new sonar drone technology would allow him to search a much greater area.

Shaun’s family in call for fresh search

Police Scotland admit they are in discussions with Dr Ruffell about conducting a new search, but these talks have been ongoing for at least ten months with no clear answer coming from the force.

Shaun’s sister Nicole and his dad Charlie have both called on officers to take the scientist up on his offer and use every power at their disposal to try and find the missing 20-year-old.

Shaun Ritchie's sister Nicole Shand
Nicole Shand. Image: Mhairi Edwards / DC Thomson

“That’s eight years now since he went missing and I still have been hoping and longing for answers and closure,” said Nicole.

“It’s what we deserve as a family.

“It’s been torture not knowing the truth around Shaun’s disappearance.

“Something needs to be done. Shaun is such a big miss to all.”

Reflecting on the past eight years, Shaun’s dad Charlie Reid told us: “This year marks Shaun’s 28th birthday. As a family, we think about him every day.

“We think about the fact that, at this time of his life, he would have maybe been settling down, with a promising career, possibly a partner and maybe children of his own.

“Whatever happened on that night eight years ago has robbed us – and Shaun – of those life landmarks that many people get to enjoy with their families.”

Charlie, who previously put up a £10,000 reward for information, added: “With every year that passes, the chances of discovering exactly what happened on that night fade a little more, but it would mean so much to us to know what went on.

“People who were there that night know more than they have so far said to the police.

“After eight years, we hope they will do the right thing and come forward with what they know.”

Do you have information about Shaun Ritchie?

Charlie Reid beside a missing person poster asking for information about his son Shaun Ritchie who disappeared on October 31, 2014.
Charlie Reid, Shaun Ritchie’s father.

The disappearance of Shaun Ritchie remains an open missing persons case with his heartbroken family desperate to move his case forward to help them find their loved one.

Speaking to mark the anniversary of Shaun’s disappearance, Detective Inspector Andrew Wilson said: “We fully appreciate how hard it must be for Shaun’s family with another year passing since his disappearance and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

“Our inquiry into Shaun’s disappearance remains one of the largest ever missing person operations in the history of Police Scotland.

“Extensive and detailed searches were conducted with assistance from every specialist air, land and water resource, with more than 200 officers covering more than 22km of ditches, rough terrain and large water areas.

“We were also assisted by the expertise of a forensic soil scientist and geoscientist, while we pursued every potential lead with thorough intelligence-led inquiries.

Det Insp Wilson added: “We continue to consider all available means of investigation and will act on any new information that is provided to us.

Anyone with any information that could help find Shaun should contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers.

The force also works closely with the Missing People Charity who can be contacted on 116 000 or by visiting their website.

You can read more about the Shaun Ritchie case here.

If you would like to speak to our Impact investigations team about the case, please email

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