Heartbreaking footage of Alesha MacPhail, 6, giggling with uncle days before murder in Bute

The six-year-old was found dead in woodland just hours after vanishing from her grandparent’s home in Rothesay, on the Isle of Bute, on Monday.

Cops have tonight announced they have arrested a man on suspicion of murder just hours after they urged parents to "lock their doors" over fears she was snatched from her bed.

And on Wednesday afternoon, her uncle Calum MacPhail posted a heartbreaking message and video which showed his niece joking around.

The pair could be seen messing around with a jar of bright blue putty and she asked him whether he “liked slime”.

They could be seen playing with the toy before Calum started tickling the youngster, who burst out laughing.



He posted the clip on Facebook and told people he wanted to show people the “lovely wee girl” who has been “taken” from the family.

Calum wrote online: “Me and my family would like to thank you for your on-going support.

“I would also like to let yous (sic) see what sort of lovely wee girl my niece was and also what whoever has done this has taken from us.

“I am never gonna be able to have this much fun with Alesha again but at least I have this memory of her and I would ask everyone to remember her like this and not just as a headline.



“There's a lot more I want to say but I just can't word it at this time. Rest in peace Alesha I love you so much. Love Uncle Calum.”

It is believed detectives are examining whether there was a forced entry into the home, with a source close to family claiming on Facebook that Alesha "went missing from her bed".

A Police Scotland spokesman confirmed they had made an arrest and added: "A man has been arrested tonight on suspicion of the murder of 6-year-old Alesha MacPhail.

Forensic officers removed a car from the scene yesterday and took it off the island, while a cat was also removed from the home.

Chief Superintendent Hazel Hendren said: "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.




"Our absolute priority is catching the person responsible for this horrendous act as quickly as possible."

Alesha's devastated mum Georgina Lochrane, 23, yesterday broke down as she placed a picture of her daughter at a makeshift shrine on the garden wall of her grandparents’ house.

The bubbly youngster was reported missing from the property in Port Bannatyne, at 6.25am on Monday morning.

Her body was found by a member of the public less than three hours later around a mile away in woodland on the site of a former hotel.


Alesha's Mum Georgina, from Airdrie, was comforted by partner George Horn as she tenderly placed a photo of Alesha in her school uniform in among the many floral tributes.

The bereft parent – also mum to a four-year-old girl – paused for a brief moment to read some of the kind-words left by locals touched by the harrowing loss. She then left sobbing in a police car.

The shrine sits at the home of grandparents Angela King and Calum MacPhail – where Alesha’s dad Robert also lives.

Her heartbroken dad also wept as he left flowers for his daughter as murder cops arrived on the Scottish island.




Rab MacPhail, 25, had to be supported by his girlfriend Toni McLachlan as he looked as dozens of tributes left to the tragic youngster.

Alesha's devastated mum begged for information about her missing daughter after gran Angela issued a desperate plea to find the youngster.

Alongside an adorable photo of the girl, Angela wrote: "Alesha has gone missing from our house please help look for her".

Georgina then commented on the post asking what had happened to her daughter, saying: "Someone tell me whats happened that's my daughter."

She then made the heartbreaking discovery Alesha had been found dead after other users posted links to news reports of the tragedy.




She heart-wrenchingly posted: "That’s my f***** daughter”.

A potential line of inquiry is that Alesha may have had a problem with sleepwalking.

A huge search was launched when they raised the alarm with cops and locals scouring the area as a police helicopter hovered overhead.

The family’s flat, which is close to the seafront, was taped off as forensics teams swooped.

A cordon was also thrown around a bus stop opposite and run all the way down to the water.

Police stopped traffic entering a winding track leading up to a hill at the rear of the house, while investigators combed an expanse of nearby forest.

But Police Scotland confirmed Alesha's body was discovered by a member of the public in woodland on the site of the abandoned Kyles of Bute Hydropathic Hotel, which was demolished in the 1970s.

The area where her body was found is heavily overgrown and the woodland is around a 20 minute walk away.



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