The body of Emma Faulds was left in a forest area where someone "would not normally walk through".

Jurors heard how a top soil expert was asked to help during the probe into the 39 year-old's death.

Professor Lorna Dawson CBE made the claim about the scene having been tasked with studying soil and plant samples relevant to the inquiry.

This also included examining boots belonging to Ross Willox, who is accused of killing Emma.

It was 24 hours after Prof Dawson's findings that Emma's body was found in Glentrool Forest, Dumfries and Galloway on June 12, 2019.

The evidence was today heard at the High Court in Glasgow.

Willox, 41, is charged with murdering Emma at his home in Fairfield Park, Monkton, Ayrshire, on April 28, 2019 by means unknown and then dumping her body.

The court heard Prof Dawson was an expert advisor who had worked with police forces across the UK and in Australia.

She was asked to examine Timberland boots as well as Mercedes and Jaguar vehicles for the presence of soil.

Prosecutor Paul Kearney asked the professor: "You were approached to see if you could provide your expertise in soil science to assist in the search for Emma?"

She replied: "Yes."

Prof Dawson made her findings on June 11.

The court heard the search for Emma then "refocused" on areas that were "wet and boggy" in Glentrool.

Mr Kearney asked the witness: "Police were searching in the general area at the time you provided the information.

"They then altered the search more to this type of environment there?"

She replied: "Near to an area that would create this boggy environment."

Emma was found the next day before the professor visited the site.

There was a "strategy meeting" on how best to take soil and plant samples from the scene to compare with earlier findings.

Mr Kearney quizzed the professor on what the area was like.

She said: "There was no walking path there...nothing of a natural path.

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"It was quite difficult circumstances to work under due to the amount of midges.

"It was not an area that you would naturally walk through. You would avoid it."

Willox denies the charges.

The trial, before judge Lord Mulholland, continues.

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