THE heartbroken mother of a soldier who was found dead in a river 10 years ago says she still wants answers to how he died.
The body of Black Watch private and Iraq veteran Gary Kinnear was recovered from the River Tay in his home city of Dundee in December 2003.
Gary, 31, had been out with his wife, Michelle, at a nightclub in the city on 1 November when he said he needed to go outside for some air, but he was never seen again.
A post-mortem examination concluded he had died of drowning.
But his mother Catherine Kinnear, 59, who lives near Cupar, Fife, says she still has no idea what happened.
She revealed her son was opposed to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and said she was looking into whether he could have suffered post-traumatic stress or Gulf War syndrome, an illness said to be linked to inoculations.
She said: “He was fit and healthy but when he came back from Iraq he was painfully thin.
“He got an anthrax injection before he went to Kosovo in the late 1990s and had to take a booster a few years later before going to Iraq.
“It’s only recently that I’ve been reading about Gulf War syndrome and the alleged impact of the cocktail of drugs from inoculations.
“I didn’t realise they were pumping out boys with drugs like that.
“A lot of his pals were also killed. He was brought up in the country and to see bodies like that must have had an effect on their heads.
“I can’t prove what happened to my son, but I hope I can help other mums and dads so that they don’t have to go through what I’ve been through.
“I feel like I need answers. It’s coming up for 10 years.”
The soldier, of 1st Battalion the Black Watch had been drinking in a nightclub in Dundee’s St Andrew’s Street, along with wife Michelle.
He was due to rejoin his regiment in Germany the following Wednesday, and when he did not turn up he was recorded as AWOL.
On 5 December police and lifeboat crews were searching the Tay for an old lady missing in Dundee when his body was found.
Gary’s father Ronald said at the time: “[Gary] said some of the sights in Iraq were frightening and he was getting shot at left, right and centre.
“For him to die like this is all the more distressing.”
A postmortem said he died as a result of saltwater drowning, and Catherine said the body was so badly decomposed his dental records had to be checked.
A military funeral was held later in December, and his ashes were interred alongside his grandparents’ at Falkland Cemetery.
Catherine said she was told at the time his death appeared to be a “tragic accident”.