The body of a three-year-old Indian-origin boy, who mysteriously disappeared from his home in Scotland, was found on Saturday as police detained his mother for the death.
Rosdeep Kular was detained for questioning after her son Mikaeel Kular’s body was found and a house in Fife, north of Edinburgh, believed to be that of her sister, was sealed by police on Friday night for forensics officers to conduct a probe.
Mikaeel disappeared after he was put to bed by his 33-year-old mother at their home in Ferry Gait Crescent in Edinburgh on Wednesday night. Hundreds of local residents and volunteers had been searching for him since then.
“We strongly believe this to be the body of Mikaeel. A person has been detained in connection with the recovery of the body and members of Mikaeel’s family have been informed of the recovery. Our thoughts and sympathies are with them at this time,” assistant chief constable Malcolm Graham said.
Police have confirmed that he had not attended Flora Stevenson Nursery since Christmas and said a “criminal act” was possible.
Rosdeep’s mother, Harjinder Kular, on Friday paid tribute to the volunteers who had joined the search.
“This has been such a difficult time and my head is all over the place. I just want to be there for my daughter but I am appreciative for all that has been done to help us. I’m very sad. We just want Mikaeel home,” she told Edinburgh Evening News.
A police cordon was set up around the bungalow in Fife with about a dozen officers posted in the street. A woodland area near the house was being searched.
Another cordon was strung around the woods with access to a private road around the back blocked by police.
A neighbour told BBC that Rosdeep and her five children lived at the address until 18 months ago and Mikaeel and his twin Ashika were born while they lived at the house.
Under Scottish police procedures, Rosdeep, a single parent who has four more children, can be detained for an initial 12 hours for questioning without being formally arrested or charged and police can apply for a further 12-hour extension.
It now remains unclear exactly when Mikaeel disappeared or how he left the block of flats, which has a locked main entrance.