Aftermath of the tragic discovery of little Mikaeel Kular’s body
Overnight a major police investigation and the national media descended on the quiet residential street off Oriel Road as the search for three-year old Mikaeel Kular dramatically switched across the Forth.
What started as a search for a missing boy with major community searches in Edinburgh became a murder investigation after the discovery of his body in woods behind the former family home.
Mikaeel (3), his twin sister and three older siblings lived in the Dunvegan Aveue house, now believed to be occupied by his aunt, from his birth until he was around two years old, when they moved to a flat in Edinburgh.
Throughout the weekend the street was partially sealed off as forensic officers carried out searches around the property, while a stream of locals made the journey up the hill to lay flowers, teddies and candles.
The media were also out in force, broadcasting live from the scene - the buzz of their helicopters could be heard across the town.
As the media frenzy started to scale down, former neighbours spoke of ‘‘a nightmare time” - and their sense of shock.
“Everyone here has been left stunned by what happened and now we are just trying to get our lives back to normal, or as normal as possible,” said Stacey Walker, mother of baby Cian and daughter Alba (2½).
“One minute it was a missing boy in Edinburgh then the next we turned on our television and looked out the window and everyone was here. It has been a nightmare time, and now we just want to try to get back to normal.”
Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: “It is horrific what has happened.
‘‘On Saturday when the police and media descended we all just kept in our houses and let the police get on with what they had to do.
“It’s gone quiet now and we are just trying to get on with things.”
Councillor George Kay, wh0 represents the ward, said: “The community of Strathallan must be amongst the safest in Scotland to bring up a family and live, work and play - so it is an enormous difficulty for it to come to terms with the horrendous circumstances with which they are having to cope.
“However, knowing the resilience of the community I am sure it will come forward together. I know it will understand the tremendous efforts being made by the police and forensic services and will give them every cooperation.
“My prayers go out for Mikaeel and for those who cherish him. My prayers also go to the two communities both here in Kirkcaldy and also Edinburgh which have been touched with great difficulties almost too horrendous to consider.”
Councillor Susan Leslie added: “This is a very difficult time for the extended family and the community. We are a close community, and our sympathies and condolences are with his family.
“I would also pay tribute to the community in Strathallan. The events of the last couple of days have been very distressing but they have responded with great dignity.
“The police must be given the time to continue their investigations but the community officers have had a role and will have a continuing role in liaison with the community.”