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The Press and Journal
By John Thomson
Distraught family of Johnny Hutchison, 28, tell of their ‘big, easy-going lad’
Johnny Hutchison: found
The body of a north-east man who went missing from his home last weekend has been found in woodland on the outskirts of Banff.
Grampian Police said the body of Johnny Hutchison, from Macduff, was discovered by searchers at around 3pm on Christmas Eve.
Mr Hutchison, 28, of James Street, had been at the centre of a four-day search co-ordinated by the police.
His distraught family, who had clung to hopes that he would turn up safely, spoke yesterday of their “big, easy-going lad”.
His 53-year-old father said: “We don’t know what happened to him and will have to wait for more information. Everything is just a daze.”
Mr Hutchison’s body was found by police searching in woods at Montcoffer.
A spokesman said: “There are no suspicious circumstances. A post-mortem examination is to be carried out.”
Mr Hutchison disappeared at about 3pm last Saturday. He told his parents, Patrick, and Anne, 48, and his brother Patrick, 19, with whom he lived, that he was going for a walk.
When he failed to return, they thought he might have taken a bus to Aberdeen but when he was not on the last bus they contacted police.
There was further concern because Mr Hutchison had left home without medication for depression. He had been badly affected by the death of a cousin in August.
Grampian Police mounted a huge search operation on the Banff and Macduff coastline last weekend which involved Macduff inshore lifeboat, coastguards and an RAF rescue helicopter.
Police dogs combed areas on the outskirts of the towns where Mr Hutchison was known to go walking.
The police underwater team searched the former Tarlair pool area at Macduff and the town’s harbour.
His father said yesterday: “Going and not coming back like that was so out of character and he had never done anything like that before.
“I think deep down his mother knew but we always hoped he would come back safely. He was just a big easy-going lad who was fit and enjoyed walking, although he hadn’t been doing so much recently.”
Mr Hutchison said his son, who was educated at Banff Academy, enjoyed scientific subjects, including astronomy, geography and geology.
After leaving school, he studied electronics and computing at college in Aberdeen and pursued geology through the Open University.
His father said: “He loved gadgets and was always measuring things, like wind speeds.
“He was interested in photography too and was a good artist. He used to sketch a lot and bought paints last summer and was going to start with them.
“We used to have a lot of laughs and I’ll have a lot of good memories of him.