The heartbroken family of Emma Faulds have spoken of their devastation after her body was discovered in woodlands.

Breaking their silence for the first time through a post on the family butcher’s business page, the Faulds’ thanked well wishers during the “desperately sad and painful time”.

Tragic Emma, 39, vanished from Monkton on April 28 and her body was discovered last week in Galloway Forrest, Dumfries and Galloway.

He family said: “Good morning. It’s only today that we feel we can as a family respond to the multitude of cards, hundreds of messages and fields of flowers that we have received during this desperately sad and painful time. 

“This proves that there is a great caring community spirit in Kilmarnock and further afield, indeed worldwide.

“Thank you all so much for your support and kindness you have shown us during the past few weeks.

“We’re not there yet and it will be a long time until we get answers to all the questions that have been haunting us but knowing that everyone is with us makes it easier to bare.

“Love to all of you from the Faulds family and of course Emma’s dog Maverick.”

Police revealed Emma’s body was found up a steep hill on the edge of the vast Galloway Forest – more than 30 miles from where she was last seen alive.

Ross Willox, 39, has appeared in court charged with her murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

He is currently being held on remand ahead of trial.