3 Year old boy Mikaeel Kular Missing
posted 1/17/2014 1:08:14 AM
Concerns are mounting for Mikaeel Kular, who disappeared from his Edinburgh home more than 24 hours ago, as temperatures fall overnight.
A major search operation is continuing for the three-year-old who has not been seen since he went to bed at 9pm on Wednesday night.
Mikaeel Kular Mikaeel pictured in the beige jacket he might be wearing
Superintendent Liz McAinsh told a news conference: "It is now getting dark, it's cold ... perhaps he's a bit disorientated, he's clearly going to be hungry now as well.
"I would ask local residents to think about their own homes, their gardens, their buckets, their outbuildings. Anywhere you think a three-year-old boy might be. Keep your eyes open in parks as well," she continued.
"We know his jacket and shoes are missing from the house. We don't know yet what has happened to him, but him going for a wander is one line of enquiry we're following up.
"We have air support out, we have dog support, we have resources coming from all over Scotland.
"It's cold, it's the middle of winter - we want to get Mikaeel home safely as quickly as we can."
Police brief volunteers for one final time on Thursday evening
Mikaeel's mother and four siblings - including a twin sister - were in the flat in Ferry Gait Crescent, in the Drylaw area with him.
But when his mother went to find him at around 7.15am the next morning, he was missing.
Police Scotland have activated a Child Rescue Alert throughout the UK given the potential risk to Mikaeel and the time he has been missing.
It allows officers to interrupt television and radio programmes with news flashes, while members of the public are urged to call 0300 200 0200 if they have any information that may help police locate the missing youngster.
A poster has been issued to help find the three-year-old
The little boy is described as 2ft tall and was possibly wearing a thigh-length beige jacket with a grey fur-lined hood, black gloves with multi-coloured fingers, dark navy blue jogging bottoms, a grey pyjama top featuring an embroidered turquoise dinosaur on the chest and brown shoes with two velcro straps.
He has a faded scar on the bridge of his nose and a sore on the left hand side of his mouth.
Coastguard and lifeboat crews are searching the shoreline in the Cramond and Drylaw areas close to Mikaeel's home, and mountain rescue teams have also joined specialists and residents on the ground, as police conduct house-to-house searches.
Forensic teams are examining a second address in a block of flats near his home.
The block where it is believed the boy's family live
Detectives are also looking at CCTV and want to speak to anyone who may have been travelling through the Muirhouse, Pennywell and Silverknowes areas this morning and may have seen the child walking on his own.
Superintendent McAinsh said there had been no arrests, no formal detentions, but several people were assisting officers with their inquiries.
"At this stage we’re keeping an open mind. There is no evidence to suggest criminality at this moment but clearly we are keeping an open mind. We are using all the resources at our disposal to find this boy," she said.
"We are following all lines of inquiry ... the family are being very helpful. As you can imagine, the mother is distraught and she just wants help in finding her child."
Forensic teams at the scene
She refused to comment on reports that there was a custody issue which Sky News Scotland Correspondent James Matthews had learned about "on the basis of chat in the locality".
He said: "There was no particular answer on that. It may be that she has devolved that particular matter to the team on the ground but she wasn't able to say yes or no, about speaking to the father."
Mikaeel's father is understood to be of Pakistani origin. Asked if he had been contacted, Supt McAinsh replied: "We have spoken to all key members of the family ... and they are assisting us with our inquiries."
Scores of volunteers in the area - parents and children - have been helping with the search, voicing a "strong community spirit" and concern for the missing boy, with no reported sightings of him yet.
The area from where Mikaeel has gone missing
Neighbour Nicola Garrick said of Mikaeel: "I just know him from passing him on the street with his mum and that ... happy wee boy ... beautiful wee boy ... always got a smile on his face, so it's obviously a shock to see that he's missing."
Jade Bremner, 22, who recently moved to the area with her two-year-old daughter, said she too found the disappearance "shocking".
Anyone with information can also contact Police Scotland on 101 or alternatively, the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.