Teen arrested on suspicion of murdering six-year-old Alesha MacPhail; cops inspect car used to carry body
Six-year-old Alesha MacPhail's postmortem lasted for eight hours and confirmed that she had been murdered. The authorities have not yet revealed the cause of death
The authorities on the Isle of Bute have said that a teenage boy has been arrested on suspicion of murdering six-year-old Alesha MacPhail. The department has confirmed to the public that the teen is under the age of 18 but have revealed nothing more.
The announcement comes a day after the shocking chain of events that started with the child disappearing from her grandparents' seafront home and ended with her being found murdered in the woods. Police have confirmed that two cars have been removed from the premises in Rothesay but they haven't said whom they belong to. Alesha was reported missing at around 6:25 am on July 2.
Her body was found in the woods in Ardberg Road at around 9 am the next day. The postmortem of the child's body lasted for eight hours and it confirmed that she had been murdered. The island police are being tight-lipped about the cause of death as well, the Daily Mail reported.
Detective Superintendent Stuart Houston, the senior investigating officer, said that the public's response to the earlier appeals made by the police was significant and has asked anyone who was in the area around the time of the child's disappearance to contact the authorities.
He said: "The response to our earlier public appeals has been significant. However, despite this evening's major development, I am still appealing for anyone who was in the Ardbeg Road area of Bute on Sunday night or in the early hours of Monday and who may have information about Alesha's death to contact us. Anyone who has CCTV at their home or business, or indeed any motorists with dashcam footage which might help with our investigation are also urged to get in touch."
On July 4, Alesha's devastated uncle, CJ Macphail, posted a sweet tribute to his little niece on social media along with a video of the last time they played together. The clip is a minute long and the uncle and niece duo can be seen sitting on a couch together and talking about the "slime" she is playing with. Towards the end of the video he grabs her and asks as she giggles: "Do you like slime?" and she replies 'yes'.
MacPhail, who is the elder brother of Alesha's father, Rab, wrote an emotional message with the video that he wanted his niece's killer to see what they had taken away from the devastated family. He wrote: "I am never gonna be able to have this much fun with Alesha again but at least I have this memory of her and I would ask everyone to remember her like this and not just as a headline."
It is unclear when the video was taken or even where but the uncle posted it on his personal Facebook page. He also thanked the hordes of supporters that the family has gained since the child was murdered.
He wrote: "Me and my family would like to thank you for your ongoing support. I would also like to let you see what sort of lovely wee girl my niece was and also what whoever has done this has taken from us. I am never gonna be able to have this much fun with Alesha again but at least I have this memory of her and I would ask everyone to remember her like this and not just as a headline. There's a lot more I want to say but I just can't word it at this time. Rest in peace Alesha I love you so much. Love Uncle Calum."
The man works as an Uber food delivery driver and has been active on social media unlike the other members of the family who have been quiet since the child went missing. When the child's mother, Georgina Lochrane, complained on Facebook about how she had found out about her daughter's disappearance only on the social media site after Alesha's paternal grandmother had posted about it, MacPhail immediately jumped to his mother's defense.
He said that the police had told the family not to issue any more statements and that they had tried in vain to contact the mother. He also slammed internet trolls who said that the 6-year-old had disappeared because the family was not taking proper care of her.
Over 20 detectives have been sent to the island from the mainland to aid in the investigation. One of the cars that were removed from the grandparent's property, a Dacia, is believed to belong to a neighbor who lives in one of the seafront flats. It is believed to have been used to take the body of the child to the abandoned area which is a mile away from the family home in the grounds of a former hotel.
The grandparents stay in a two-bedroom attic apartment that overlooks the sea in Rothesay. They haven't been spotted since the disappearance of their granddaughter. One of the neighbors said that they live in one bedroom while Alesha's father stays in the other one. His girlfriend was seen staying over often.
The authorities are yet to confirm if the father and his girlfriend were in the home when the child disappeared from the property.