NEWS
05/07/2018 07:47 BST | Updated 05/07/2018 10:38 BST

Isle of Bute Death: Teenager Arrested On Suspicion Of Murdering Six-Year-Old

Her body was found in woodland near her grandparents' home on Monday.

A teenage boy has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail on the Isle of Bute.

The schoolgirl was staying with relatives on the island when she was reported missing in the early hours of Monday. Her body was found in woodland near her grandparents’ home by Rothesay hours later.

A male under the age of 18 has been arrested, Police Scotland said on Wednesday, as they appealed for information into the girl’s death.

Officers launched a murder probe following the results of a post-mortem examination on Tuesday. They have not specified how the pupil at Chapelside Primary School in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, died.

The arrest followed a day of police activity at the house on Ardbeg Road where Alesha had been staying.

A team combed the grounds of the property and a black Dacia car was removed on Wednesday afternoon.

PA Wire/PA Images
A picture among tributes near a house on Ardbeg Road on the Isle of Bute in Scotland, after the body of Alesha MacPhail was found in woodland on the site of a former hotel by a member of the public on Monday.

Detective Superintendent Stuart Houston said: “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.”

Alesha was a few days into a three-week summer break on the island in the Firth of Clyde, west of Glasgow, when her body was found by a member of the public in a wooded area at around 9am on Monday.

She had earlier been reported missing from the house where she was staying with her grandparents.

Islanders were warned to be vigilant about the safety of their children and the security of their homes following the discovery.

PA Wire/PA Images
Police searching a house in Ardbeg Road on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

Local minister the Rev Owain Jones said: “We’re all absolutely staggered, we have no words for this and it’s beyond any power of words to express.

“We’re all just really sitting in a kind of shared stunned silence just trying to uphold each other.

“Bute is one of these places that is incredibly safe, you take all sorts of things for granted here and don’t panic if you forget to lock the house or whatever.

“It’s not a remote island in the classic sense – it’s only 90 minutes to Glasgow – but even so it is an island and we all know each other at least by sight, and it’s an extremely safe place and there is no context for this.”