Alesha MacPhail death treated as murder as police launch investigation.
A murder investigation has been launched over the death of a six-year-old girl whose body was found on the Isle of Bute – and people in the area have been warned to “look after each other”.
Officers in Scotland launched the murder investigation after receiving the results of a post-mortem examination.
Alesha MacPhail was reported missing from her home in Rothesay by her grandmother at 6.25 on Monday morning.
Within three hours, her body was discovered by police in the grounds of an abandoned hotel.
Detective Superintendent Stuart Houston said that “a large amount of forensic examinations are being conducted” in the woodland area where the child’s body was found.
At a news conference announcing the investigation he said he wants to speak to people who took part in the search for Alesha after she was reported missing and that officers are carrying out house-to-house inquiries.
Chief Superintendent Hazel Hendren said extra officers have been brought in to help the investigation, to conduct 24-hour high-visibility patrols and to support the community in Rothesay.
She said: “Incidents such as this are extremely rare but we are still in the early stages of this investigation and we would ask people to be vigilant about their children and also their household security.”
Questioned about this, Chief Supt Hendren repeated: “It is very important that people are vigilant and look after each other.”
Det Supt Houston said: “Alesha’s family is utterly devastated and we are continuing to provide them with the support they require at this incredibly distressing time.
“Alesha has lots of friends who will no doubt find it difficult to comprehend why they will never see their friend again.”
Earlier, he said that the “tight-knit community” was in shock, adding: “It is imperative that we find out what has happened.”
He went on: “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.”
Photos of Alesha have been shared on Facebook and flowers have been laid near her home.