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‘Tight-knit community’ shocked by young girl’s death on Isle of Bute

Formal identification is yet to take place but the body is believed to be that of Alesha MacPhail.

An investigation is ongoing into the death of a young girl on the Isle of Bute.

Alesha MacPhail, from Rothesay on the island, was reported missing at 6.25am on Monday.

The body of a young girl was found in woodland on the site of a former hotel in Ardbeg Road by a member of the public at around 9am.

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Floral tributes near a house on Ardbeg Road (Jane Barlow/PA)

Formal identification is yet to take place but it is believed to be that of the six-year-old.

Police are treating the death as unexplained and have launched a major investigation.

The death was said to have impacted all those living in the “tight-knit community”.

Councillor Len Scoullar said: “Everyone is very shocked, very sympathetic and concerned.

“We will all be offering our very sincere condolences to the family.

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Floral tributes near a house on Ardbeg Road on the Isle of Bute (Jane Barlow/PA)

“We are a very small island community, people are genuinely grieving for the family.”

Extra officers including forensics specialists have been sent to the island to help with the investigation.

High Road in Ardbeg, near Rothesay, was shut by a police cordon and a floral tribute had been laid near police accident signs.

A separate cordon was set up outside houses on Ardbeg Road and police tape set up at the seafront on the opposite side of the street.

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A police cordon outside a house on Ardbeg Road on the Isle of Bute (Jane Barlow/PA)

Messages on floral tributes laid outside the homes read “sleep tight little angel” and “forever in our thoughts”.

Detective Superintendent Stuart Houston, from Police Scotland’s major investigation teams, said on Monday: “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.

“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 the death of this young child.

“Specially-trained officers are supporting the family during this incredibly difficult time.”

Anyone with information is asked to call officers at the Major Investigations Teams via 101 quoting incident no 0695 of 2 July 2018.

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