Bute community shocked by young girl’s death

The body of a six-year-old girl, named locally as Alesha Macphail, has been found on the Isle of Bute. Flowers have been laid at the police cordon. Picture: SWNS
The body of a six-year-old girl, named locally as Alesha Macphail, has been found on the Isle of Bute. Flowers have been laid at the police cordon. Picture: SWNS

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

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

Police Scotland forensics officers examine the woods where the body of a six-year-old girl was found. Picture: SWNS

Police Scotland forensics officers examine the woods where the body of a six-year-old girl was found. Picture: SWNS

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.

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”.

Tributes have been left outside the house were 6-year-old Alesha MacPhail had been staying. Picture: SWNS

Tributes have been left outside the house were 6-year-old Alesha MacPhail had been staying. Picture: SWNS

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

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

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

High Road in Ardbeg 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.

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.