Search for Scottish toddler continues into night

Thursday 16 January 2014 23.26
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Police asked anyone who believes they have seen Mikaeel Kular to contact them immediately
Police asked anyone who believes they have seen Mikaeel Kular to contact them immediately
The boy's family discovered he was missing this morning
The boy's family discovered he was missing this morning
Police have a large presence in the area
Police have a large presence in the area
A police helicopter is involved in the search in Edinburgh
A police helicopter is involved in the search in Edinburgh

A full-scale search involving Scottish emergency services and worried neighbours is continuing through the night as concern grows for a missing three-year-old boy. 

Mikaeel Kular disappeared from his Edinburgh home overnight and a large-scale ground, air and sea search has so far found no trace of him.

The operation was launched after the youngster's mother found his bed empty this morning.

A police helicopter, sniffer dogs, Coast Guard and lifeboat teams have been tasked in the search for the toddler who was last seen at his family's flat in Ferry Gait Crescent at around 9pm on Wednesday night.

His jacket and shoes are missing and police are looking into whether he might have left of his own accord. Police said there is currently no evidence of criminal behaviour.

Neighbours on the modern housing estate have joined the search for Mikaeel, a twin with three other siblings.

One resident, who did not want to give her name, said: "I got woken up at the back of 7am by the police, asking if I'd seen the wee one.

"I got the fright of my life because I've got a child. It's just absolutely horrific.

"I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. The first thing I did was actually search the stair."

The neighbour said a group of about ten mothers have been out in their cars searching the area.

Police Scotland Superintendent Liz McAinsh said the force is using all the resources at its disposal in the hunt.

Asked whether there were any custody issues with the family, she said: "Obviously we are following all lines of inquiry, there are no concerns that we have at the moment.

"We are following all lines of inquiry with all partner agencies and with the family and the family are being very helpful at the moment.

"As you can imagine, Mikaeel's mother is distraught. She just wants our help and the public's help in finding her little boy."

The police search is focusing on the Pennywell and Muirhouse areas of the city.

Coast Guard and lifeboat teams have meanwhile been scouring the shoreline in the Cramond and Drylaw areas.

Mikaeel is described as 0.9m (3ft), of Asian appearance and possibly wearing a beige hooded jacket, blue jogging bottoms, brown Clarks shoes and nightwear.

He attends a local nursery and Ms McAinsh said: "They say Mikaeel is a friendly, playful wee boy and they are obviously concerned for his safety as well and will do everything they can to help us in finding Mikaeel."

Keywords: mikaeel kular