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A member of the public discovered a child's body on Bute at about 9am this morning (Monday) and police believe it is six-year-old Alesha MacPhail, who was reported missing two-and-a-half hours earlier.


An investigation has begun and detectives are currently treating the death as unexplained.


The body was discovered in woodland off Ardbeg Road


Det Supt Stuart Houston from Police Scotland's major investigation teams said: "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.


"This investigation is at its very early stages however I am appealing for information in order to piece together Alesha's last known movements.


"We know that once the alarm was raised about her being missing, there were a number of local people who assisted with the search.


"I would like to speak to anyone who was involved in that search who has not yet been spoken to by the police. This is to ensure that everyone that was in the vicinity of Ardbeg Road at the time is traced as they may have critical information which could assist with the investigation

He also wanted to reassure the people of Rothesay: "I must reiterate that this death is still being treated as unexplained at this time, however, I would like to reassure the public that this type of incident is rare," he said.


"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 death of this young child. Specially trained officers are supporting the family during this incredibly difficult time.


"If anyone has any information please contact police with that information. You might think it is insignificant, however, please let us be the judge of that, and contact us immediately."


The girl was believed to have been staying at a house on Ardbeg Road when she disappeared. A police cordon was set up outside the house.


High Road in Ardbeg, a small village north of Rothesay, was also closed by a police cordon and well-wishers had begun laying a floral tribute near police accident signs. A police car blocked the road while several other police vehicles could be seen nearby.


It is understood the child’s body was discovered on the site of the former Kyles of Bute Hydropathic Hotel.

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