Officers from the Major Investigations Team are now assisting with the investigation into missing Inverkip woman, Margaret Fleming.
The last time 36-year-old Margaret was seen was by her two carers on Friday, October 28 at her home in Main Road, Inverkip.
Specialist search teams have been sifting through the house where Margaret - who is believed to have learning difficulties - lives with her two carers to find any documents, clothing and personal items that could assist in finding her.
Meanwhile support from expert resources has been enlisted including air support, a dive and marine unit, dog unit and search specialists, who have been combing the Inverkip and wider Inverclyde area.
A team of detectives led by Detective Chief Inspector Paul Livingstone has been working to find out more about Margaret’s background history.
Over the past few weeks, detectives have been working to piece together Margaret’s movements over the years, in order to find out more about her. This includes tracing and engaging with family members, friends, her education, employment and any contacts through health and welfare.
Officers also visited Port Bannatyne on Bute where Margaret was said to have enjoyed visiting.
The search of the house will now extend into the garden which will be extensive and will involve some excavation work.
Apart from her carers, the last independent sighting of Margaret was on December 17, 1999, at a family gathering.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Livingstone said, “Apart from her carers, the last independent sighting of Margaret was in 1999. This, along with facts such as having no trace of a job, few friends that are contactable and no evidence of her contact with partner agencies and local services has led me to become very concerned for her whereabouts and wellbeing.
“One line of enquiry that I now must consider is the possibility that Margaret may have come to some harm. It’s important that we keep an open mind to all lines of enquiry but the distinct lack of information about Margaret is concerning. However, we cannot rule anything out at this point and officers will continue to follow up enquiries about where Margaret has been. I must stress that this is still a missing person investigation.
“Our search will continue from the house into the grounds around it. This is a natural progression in the inquiry to assist our investigation to find Margaret. As this goes on, I am still appealing to anyone who may have information about Margaret, to help us build a more accurate picture of where she has been and with whom she has been associating over the past 20 years.
“If anyone remembers Margaret from James Watt College in 1996, 1997 or 1998, whether a student or lecturer, please get in touch. We have spoken to a friend she met there but we are keen to find out if there is anyone else who may still be in touch with her.
“Margaret’s carers have said that they believe she has a private side to her life and that she may have friends that they are not aware of. We are currently working with very limited information which makes this a challenging investigation. If you know or knew Margaret, please get in touch with the investigation team based at Greenock on 101. Any small piece of information may be able to assist us.”
>> Margaret is described as around 5ft 5 inches in height, with collar length black hair and brown eyes. She is described as being of heavy build.
When last seen, she was wearing a green coloured tartan fleece or jumper, dark coloured jeans or trousers, wearing ‘Karrimor’ type boots which were dark in colour.
She also had a satchel-type handbag.