Glasgow & West Scotland

New appeal over missing Margaret Fleming 17 years on

Police markers in Inverkip garden where they are searching
Image caption Specialist teams have been searching the garden of the property

Police searching for missing Margaret Fleming have made a fresh appeal for information exactly 17 years since she was last seen in public.

The 36-year-old, from Inverkip in Inverclyde, was reported missing by her two carers on 28 October.

The last independent sighting of her was on 17 December 1999.

Specialist teams have been searching the house and garden where Ms Fleming lived with her carers Edward Cairney, 75, and Avril Jones, 56.

Image caption Margaret Fleming was reported missing in October 2016

It is believed they are looking for any documentation, clothing or personal items which could help find her.

Officers were also continuing to make inquiries in the wider Inverclyde area.

Det Ch Insp Paul Livingstone, the senior investigating officer, said: "Today, Saturday 17 December, marks 17 years to the day that Margaret was seen at a family gathering.

"This is the only independent sighting we have of Margaret so far, and I would like to re-appeal to people in the local community of Inverkip and beyond for their help with our inquiries.

"A priority for the inquiry team is to establish Margaret's movements and lifestyle between 1999 and when she was reported missing on Friday 28 October by her carers."

Image caption The back garden of the house Margaret Fleming shared with her carers has been dug up

He added: "We have had an encouraging response to our previous appeals and I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to come forward with information.

"If Margaret is reading this, I would ask her to get in touch with police. She is not is any trouble, we just want to ensure she is safe and well."

Ms Fleming, who is believed to have learning difficulties, is thought to have attended James Watt College in Greenock between 1996 and 1998.

Police officers had gone to Ms Fleming's house on 28 October about a social work issue. Her carers said she had left that day. They later reported her missing.

It is believed Ms Fleming lived with her father in Port Glasgow before he died in October 1995.

She then lived with her grandparents and mother but moved in with the carers in 1997.

She is thought to have been estranged from her mother since then.

Image copyright PA
Image caption It is understood Margaret Fleming had lived in the Inverkip house since 1999

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