Police now fear criminal link after Mikaeel (3) vanished from home
The disappearance of missing three-year-old Mikaeel Kular may have been a criminal act, police conceded for the first time last night.
Detectives are now seeking to piece together a detailed timeline of events leading up to the boy being reported missing from the flat he shared with his mother and three siblings in the Drylaw area of Edinburgh on Thursday morning.
Hundreds of volunteers are expected to join police search teams today for a third day scouring the area around the family home.
Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham of Police Scotland, said that in the absence of contrary evidence the force was pursuing all lines of inquiry.
"It is, however, entirely possible that Mikaeel has become subject of a criminal act and our investigation has been established as a twin track to ensure that every eventuality is being, and will be, fully explored," he said.
Officially, it is believed still possible that Mikaeel got up on Wednesday night after being put to bed by his mother and then dressed himself before making his way out of the door of their first floor apartment and buzzing his way past a heavy communal security entrance before disappearing into the chilly winter night in Edinburgh.
News of a possible sighting of a boy matching Mikaeel's description offered some hope that the more optimistic scenario might yet be borne out.
But the witnesses who were in a vehicle passing by also reported the child was wearing a cap or hat and police said no items of headwear were missing from the family flat. Mikaeel did not like wearing a hat, police said.
The sighting was not confirmed. CCTV footage from the front of the apartment block had also failed to yield any evidence of the three-year-old leaving the building.
Mikaeel's mother Rosdeep, a 33-year-old beautician, had been living at the apartment for a number of years.
The daughter of a local doctor, she was separated from the two fathers of her children.
Police said that she was "very distraught" at events and just wanted her son back.