TRIBUTES have been paid to a young Erskine man and his girlfriend after they were found dead at their home.

An investigation is under way into the deaths of Derek Hurles and Nicole McGeachin, whose lifeless bodies were found by emergency services on Monday morning.

Derek, a former pupil at Park Mains High, in Erskine, and Nicole were residents of a flat in Stoneside Square, Thornliebank, where the grim discovery was made at around 10am.

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Police have said they are treating the deaths of the young couple, who were both 23, as “unexplained.”

It was initially thought a gas leak or carbon monoxide poisoning was responsible for the double tragedy.

Derek had worked as a bricklayer for construction firm CCG since 2013, and colleagues led tributes to him yesterday.

The Gazette:

Police remained at the scene on Monday 

Alastair Wylie, chairman and chief executive of CCG, told The Gazette: “We were all extremely saddened to hear of the death of Derek and his girlfriend Nicole.

“Derek was well liked by colleagues and a very hard-working bricklayer who joined CCG as an apprentice.

“Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this sad time.”

Friends who went to school with Derek also posted tributes on social media.

Paige Tweedie wrote: “Can’t believe this. We all went to school with Derek and he was such a lovely boy. Tragic.”

Neighbours in Stoneside Square said the couple hadn’t been seen for several days before their bodies were discovered.

One resident, who has lived in the area for 10 years, added that members of the tight-knit community have been left “devastated” by the deaths.

The Gazette:

The neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “They’ve been there for about a year but I hadn’t seen them in about three days. The woman struggled with her health. The guy was a bricklayer and a good worker.”

Police said yesterday post-mortem examinations will be carried out to establish how the couple died.

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“At 10.10am on Monday, police were called to reports of concern for a person in Stoneside Square, Thornliebank,” added a spokeswoman. “Emergency services attended and, on arrival, officers discovered two bodies within a property. They remain at the scene to establish the circumstances.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they also attended the scene.

He said: “Firefighters and a scientific adviser carried out atmospheric monitoring tests. Crews left the scene after ensuring the area was made safe.”