Tayside and Central Scotland

Four city 'suicides' in Dundee over 10 days

Finlathen Park, Dundee
Image caption A 24-year-old's body was found at Finlathen Park in Dundee on Saturday

Police are investigating the apparent suicide of four young men in Dundee in the space of 10 days, it has emerged.

On Thursday 1 July Anthony Riddell, 17, was found dead in a wooded area in the city. Two days later Ragan Thomson, 18, was found dead in the same area.

On Saturday, the body of 23-year-old Steven Loftus was found in a local park and a few hours later the body of a 22-year-old man was found in the grounds of a country estate.

Police are not connecting the deaths.

It is understood all four men hanged themselves.

Tayside Police's Assistant Chief Constable Angela Wilson said all four deaths were still under investigation and said she was concerned young people are not seeking the support they need.

She said: "Whilst these tragic sudden deaths do not appear to be connected in any way, it is extremely distressing nonetheless to see four young men in our community who have taken such drastic actions.

"Many people face daily stresses and have long and deep-rooted personal problems but there are other ways to deal with these issues.

"We need to learn as a community how to identify those people who may be going through a hard time."

Anthony Riddell was found dead at about 0615 BST on Thursday 1 July in a wooded area off Kirk Street.

On Saturday 3 July the body of Ragan Thomson, 18, was found.

Trained professionals

At about 1130 BST on Saturday officers were called to the city's Finlathen Park, where the body of Mr Loftus was found.

A few hours later, at about 1500 BST, the body of a 22-year-old man was found by a member of the public in the grounds of Baldovan House, on the outskirts of Dundee.

Dundee City Lord Provost John Letford said his thoughts were with the families of the young men and that the local council was working closely with police.

Mr Letford said: "One death is far too many. All we can do is look into this with the police, and look to see if there's anything we can do as councillors.

"If there is, we will do it.

"It's upsetting and we have to find out the root causes of this.

"This is awful for the families concerned."

A Samaritans spokeswoman said its volunteers were on hand 24 hours a day.

She added: "Following the tragic news about the recent deaths in Dundee, we urge anyone feeling distressed or struggling to cope to share their problems rather than letting them spiral out of control."

Anyone seeking help can call ChildLine on 0800 11 11; Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90; and Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87.

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