Gay barman savagely beaten and set on fire 'was victim of sex attack'
At a press conference at Kilmarnock police office, he confirmed Mr Walker – a former assistant manager at the Royal Hotel in Cumnock – had almost certainly known those who killed him at Caponacre industrial estate.
Mr Thomson said: ‘I don’t think it was a random attack by someone who will strike again. I suspect Stuart may have known this individual or met this individual shortly before his death.’
Mr Thomson, who described the murder as a ‘vicious attack’, said there was a ‘possibility of a sexual assault’.
In loving memory: Flowers left at the scene in Cumnock, Ayrshire, where Stuart Walker was found dead
Crime scene: The murder scene at Caponacre Industrial Estate, Cumnock, Ayrshire where the body of Stuart Walker was found
The post-mortem examination will reveal whether that was the case.
Mr Walker’s charred remains were discovered at 4.50am by party-goers, after being last seen by a friend alive at 2:30am.
The sociable music fan had been at a number of friends’ house parties on the nearby Netherthird housing estate until the early hours.
He then took the route back to the house he shared with parents David, 63, and Isabel, 56, and 24-year-old sister Julie in Hearth Place, Cumnock.
He was last seen alive and alone close to the town fire station in Glazier Street by a family friend.
But Mr Walker, a former gym supervisor, changed route and bypassed his house to go to the industrial estate.
Police are unsure if he was taken there or went of his own accord, and whether he removed his own clothing.
His family first became worried when Mr Walker did not turn up at his grandmother Margaret McMeekin’s 80th birthday party on Saturday.
He also failed to appear for his fourth shift at a new job behind the bar of the First Edition pub in nearby Kilmarnock.