Police appeal after six-year-old’s body found on Isle of Bute

Police have appealed for help investigating the unexplained death of a six-year-old girl whose body was found in woodland on the Isle of Bute.

Detectives confirmed the body of Alesha MacPhail had been found on Monday morning near her home in Rothesay, on the Isle of Bute in the Clyde, around two and a half hours after she was reported missing.

She was found at 9am in the grounds of a derelict hotel on Ardbeg Road by a member of the public after a large-scale search had been launched. She had been reported missing at 6.25am.

Police Scotland said formal identification of her body had yet to take place but urged any passersby and visitors to the island, a popular holiday destination, to get in touch with the inquiry team.

Det Supt Stuart Houston, from the force’s major investigations team, said: “This death of a six-year-old child has shocked the tight-knit community of Rothesay and it is imperative that we find out what has happened.

“We know that once the alarm was raised about her being missing, there were a number of local people who assisted with the search. I would like to speak to anyone who was involved in that search who have not yet been spoken to by the police.

“This is to ensure that everyone that was in the vicinity of Ardbeg Road at the time is traced as they may have critical information which could assist with the investigation.”

High Road in Ardbeg, a small village north of Rothesay, was closed by a police cordon and well-wishers had begun laying a floral tribute near police accident signs. A police car blocked the road while several other police vehicles could be seen nearby.

A separate cordon has been set up outside numbers 50-53 Ardbeg Road and police tape has also been set up at the seafront on the opposite side of the street.

Police said they would be carrying out door-to-door inquiries and trying to question holidaymakers, to piece together as much information as they could.

“I must reiterate that this death is still being treated as unexplained at this time,” Houston said. “However, I would like to reassure the public that this type of incident is rare.

“I understand that there are real concerns in the community; however, please be assured that a team of detectives are working on this investigation to ascertain the circumstances leading up to death of this young child. Specially trained officers are supporting the family during this incredibly difficult time.

“If anyone has any information please contact police with that information. You might think it is insignificant – however, please let us be the judge of that, and contact us immediately.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/rss