Mikaeel Kular: Police find body and detain mother

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image captionThe mother of Mikaeel Kular has been detained by police

Police investigating the disappearance of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular have found a body and detained his mother.

The body of a young boy was found in Kirkcaldy, Fife, shortly before midnight on Friday. Police strongly believe it to be Mikaeel.

Police have detained Mikaeel's mother, named locally as Rosdeep Kular, 33.

Hundreds flocked to Muirhouse St Andrew's Church in Edinburgh on Saturday evening for a memorial service for Mikaeel, who lived nearby.

The body has now been taken away by ambulance after being removed from woodland behind a property in Dunvegan Avenue, Kirkcaldy.

A house in Dunvegan Avenue, said to belong to a relative of Mikaeel's mother, is being searched along with an area of woodland to the rear and side of the property.

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image captionHundreds went to St Andrew's Church in Muirhouse for a memorial service
image captionPolice forensic officers have been searching woodland behind the house in Kirkcaldy

A police cordon has been set up around the bungalow in Dunvegan Avenue.

A second cordon has been strung around the woods, with access to a private road around the back blocked by police.

A neighbour of the house being searched said Ms Kular and her five children lived at the address until 18 months ago, and that Mikaeel and his twin were born while they lived at the house.

image copyrightReuters
image captionLocal people have been laying tributes, including flowers and teddy bears, near Mikaeel's home

Mikaeel went missing from his home in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

The home in Kirkcaldy is about 20 miles away from the property in Edinburgh.

It emerged on Friday that Mikaeel had not been seen at nursery since the Christmas break.

Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham, of Police Scotland, told a press conference that Mikaeel's family had been informed of the recovery of a body and the investigation was continuing.

He also thanked rescue teams and the public for their "fantastic response" in helping to search for the missing boy.

Police had said Mikaeel disappeared from his home in Ferry Gait Crescent in the Muirhouse area of Edinburgh, at about 21:00 GMT on Wednesday.

More than 200 volunteers from the community had joined the emergency services to look for Mikaeel.

The body was found in Fife, north of Edinburgh across the Firth of Forth, but police have not disclosed where in the area the discovery was made.

media captionPolice investigating the disappearance of Mikaeel Kular are searching a property in Kirkcaldy, as Andrew Anderson reports

ACC Graham said: "The investigation into the disappearance of Mikaeel Kular has been wide ranging and fast moving.

"As a result of these inquiries I can confirm that we have recovered the body of a young boy in Fife shortly before midnight. We have informed the family and the investigation continues.

"A person has been detained in connection with the death.

"I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has shown such a fantastic response to the incident in terms of assisting the police with searches and in terms of our appeals for information and coming forward to assist with information.

image captionMikaeel's home was in Ferry Gait Crescent in Edinburgh, some 20 miles away from Kirkcaldy, where a body was found at a home believed to belong to a relative of Mikaeel's mother

"Without such vital assistance the police cannot do their job assisting those who live and work in our communities.

"As a result of this development clearly there will now be no requirement for any further help in relation to searches in the Drylaw area."

People have been leaving flowers and soft toys as well as lighting candles outside Mikaeel's home in Edinburgh.

media captionAssistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham: "We have recovered the body of a young boy in Fife"

Residents living near the bungalow in Kirkcaldy have been shocked by the latest developments.

Olga Park, a retired nurse who lives opposite, said: "I'm just absolutely shocked about what's happened. The fact he's just a three-year-old boy is just terrible. The poor wee thing."

Michael Woods, 53, who lives nearby at Floors Place, said the area behind the heavily wooded area to the rear of the bungalow was popular with dog walkers and families.

He said he was surprised to find officers at the end of his street.

"First it was in Edinburgh, then they said Fife, then Kirkcaldy and now it's here almost on my doorstep. It's unsettling," he said.

"When I heard it was here I just about jumped off my chair."

image copyrightAFP
image captionForensic officers were called in after the body was found

Councillor Cammy Day, from Edinburgh City Council, said: "People are devastated this morning.

"People have come out in their hundreds across this community and wider, all day yesterday and before, and they would be ready to come out this morning and to hear the news is absolutely devastating.

"It's a real tragedy for this community but of course our thoughts are with the family and individuals involved."

He added: "It absolutely shows the community spirit is alive and when people need to help out then they do."

One woman in Edinburgh spoken to by the BBC said: "It is just so sad. It's devastating that this could happen to a young child.

"I'm a mother myself and it's absolutely heartbreaking."

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