A murder investigation has been launched after the charred remains of a man believed to have been recently cleared of sexual assault were found in a park.
Dogwalkers found the body of William Leiper, 31, at the site of a fire near a kids’ play area in Glasgow’s Househill Park on August 4.
He had his fingertips hacked off and was so badly injured that initial post-mortem examinations failed to find a cause of death.
Detectives believe he was the target of an attack and are following a ‘positive line of inquiry’.
Before his death, Mr Leiper was charged with a string of sex attacks and violent assaults on a woman over several years, the Daily Record reported.
He was acquitted of all charges at Glasgow High Court on July 30.
Sources close to the investigation told the newspaper he was a valium dealer and may have been involved in a ‘turf war’ with rivals.
The 31-year-old was also said to have been charged with the attempted rape of a 15-year-old girl.
Detective Superintendent Andrew Patrick, of Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, said: ‘We are working to establish the full circumstances of what happened and our thoughts are very much with William’s family a week after he was found. This is a very difficult time for them and I want to reassure them, and the wider community, that we are doing all we can to find answers.
‘Our enquiries so far indicate that this may have been a targeted attack and officers are following a positive line of enquiry. However, I am continuing to urge anyone who may have seen anything in the park and nearby Hartstone Road to get in touch as the slightest bit of information could help with our enquiries.
‘There would have been dog walkers, joggers, and cyclists in the park on the morning that William’s body was found and anyone who has not already spoken to officers is asked to do so. There are high visibility patrols in the area and you can approach an officer if you have information or concerns.
Likewise, we would like to speak to anyone who saw anything suspicious in the wider Househill park area, including Hartstone Road, to also get in touch.