Families warned to 'lock their doors' after murder of 6-year-old girl on Scottish island 3 years ago

Families warned to 'lock their doors' after murder of 6-year-old girl on Scottish island

Families on a Scottish island have been warned to be vigilant after the murder of a little girl this week.

Six-year-old Alesha Macphail went missing in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute in the early hours of Monday morning.

Her body was discovered in the grounds of an abandoned hotel in the town a short time later.

"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," said local police commander Chief Superintendent Hazel Hendren.

Families warned to 'lock their doors' after murder of 6-year-old girl on Scottish island

"The island community needs to pull together at times like this and we need their help - anyone with any information, please come forward."

Her family is "utterly devastated" over the loss, Detective Superintendent Stuart Houston has said.

"Alesha had lots of friends who will no doubt find it very difficult to comprehend why they will never see their friend again.

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"For such a young girl to have her life taken away is incomprehensible."

Police were informed that the little girl had disappeared from her grandmother's home in the town, where she had been visiting, at around 6.25am on Monday morning.

Families warned to 'lock their doors' after murder of 6-year-old girl on Scottish island

A search was launched, with calls for local people to check their properties being shared on social media, according to The Telegraph, but her body was found after 9am.

Her death is being treated as murder following the results of a post-mortem.

"An investigation has been launched and enquiries are ongoing to establish the exact circumstances of the incident," a spokesperson for Police Scotland said.

The island, in Scotland's Firth of Clyde, is popular with holiday-makers in the summer months.