The mother of Alesha MacPhail has spoken publicly for the first time since her six-year-old daughter was found raped and murdered on the Isle of Bute.
Georgina Lochrane, who also goes by the name Genie, posted to a social media page set up in tribute to Alesha.
Her message followed a vigil on Sunday night which saw hundreds of mourners gather to light candles in Rothesay’s Guildford Square.
She wrote: “I have finally built up the courage to write this. I would like to thank each and every single one of you on the Isle of Bute for doing everything you have done for my and Robert’s darling daughter.
“She will be looking down with that big massive glowing smile of hers and be so proud for everything everyone has and will continue to do for her. Myself, dad, grandparents and the rest of the people who loved our girl dearly, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Last night was beautiful I am sorry I could not attend. Thank you once again xx.”
Alesha was on holiday from Airdrie in North Lanarkshire when she was reported missing from her grandparents’ home on the island in the Firth of Clyde last Monday.
Her body was later found in woodland and a 16-year-old boy has been charged with rape and murder.
Detective Superintendent Stuart Houston said last week Alesha’s family had shown “incredible bravery through what has been an unimaginable ordeal” and thanked local people for their help with the investigation.
The 16-year-old, who cannot be identified because of his age, made no plea during a private appearance at Greenock Sheriff Court on Friday and will return to court later this month.