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Dublin: 10°C Thursday 27 January 2022

Disappearance of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular 'may have been criminal act'

Edinburgh Police have said that the child may have left the house of his own accord but may also have disappeared as a result of a criminal act.

Superintendent Liz McAinsh appeals for information at Fettes Police Station in Edinburgh.
Superintendent Liz McAinsh appeals for information at Fettes Police Station in Edinburgh.
Image: Danny Lawsonn/PA Wire

EDINBURGH POLICE HAVE said that they have had a “positive response” to a reported sighting of missing three-year-old Mikaeel Kular but have had no confirmed sightings since he was last seen on Wednesday evening.

Assistant chief constable Malcolm Graham told a media briefing this evening that there is “grave concern” because it is approaching 48 hours since the last confirmed sighting of Mikaeel.

He said that police are engaged in a “twin track” investigation into Mikaeel’s disappearance:

We must examine every possibility. It’s entirely possible that Mikaeel has left the house of his own accord, however, it is also possible that he has gone missing as a result of criminal act and as a result our investigation is taking a twin track.

Graham says that police are taking this joint approach because after “all the work that we’ve been doing we’ve been unable to confirm any sightings”.

Superintendent Liz McAinsh stressed however that there has been no change in the direction in the investigation and that it is still a search for a missing person.

“The search will continue until we have any indication that that search shouldn’t continue,” she said.

Police have also confirmed that Mikaeel had not returned to nursery since Christmas due to a bad chest infection. The illness was the reason why he was sleeping alone on the night he disappeared as he usually shared a room with his sister.

McAinsh says that they have already put out a call to all ports and airports to remain vigilant as is routine in these cases but that “the search parameters have been extensive as the level of concern grows”.

Graham also said that “with the passage of time our worry is heightened” and stressed that the investigation may have to get bigger.

“We need to have the scale of investigation required. We’ve had positive responses to that (the possible sighting) but we need to more work to bottom that out,” he said.

Read: Potential sighting of 3-year-old Mikaeel in Edinburgh >

Read: Edinburgh police release new picture as search for 3-year-old goes on >

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Rónán Duffy

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