Scots paedophiles quizzed over missing Spanish boy

Police handout photo of Charles O'Neill (left) and William Lauchlan. Picture: PA

Police handout photo of Charles O'Neill (left) and William Lauchlan. Picture: PA

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SPANISH police want to question two Scottish paedophiles serving prison sentences for murder and sexual assault, in connection with the disappearance of a Spanish schoolboy six years ago.

Charles O’Neill, 50, and William Lauchlan, 36, have a string of convictions and were living and working on Gran Canaria at the time of the seven-year-old boy’s disappearance.

Detectives from the Guardia Civil said the pair – who are serving a total of 56 years in jail – refused to speak when they travelled to Scotland last month.

Attempts to persuade a prison visitor, Ewan Wilson, to speak also failed. He took the pair into his Falkirk home after an earlier sentence.

Guardia Civil chiefs last night revealed they are now treating all three men as suspects as part of a new line of inquiry into the disappearance of Yeremi Vargas.

The schoolboy vanished from his home in Gran Canaria on March 10 2007 and has never been traced.

O’Neill and Lauchlan – who have also been linked to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in recent months – were jailed for life in 2010 for murdering Allison McGarrigle, 39, from Rothesay, in 1997, to stop her from reporting the abuse of a young boy.

In the 13 years between the murder and their convictions at the High Court in Glasgow, they served jail time for sexual offences against children.

Lieutenant Jose Miguel Hidalgo, the head of the inquiry, revealed new information showed the two killers had been in the Los Llanos neighbourhood of Vecindario around the time Yeremi disappeared.

He added that Mr Wilson had visited them at their home in the resort of Maspalomas in the same month that Yeremi vanished.

Lieutenant Hidalgo, one of three officers who travelled to Scotland between 12 and 23 October, said: “We have been looking at O’Neill and Lauchlan for several years since we first discovered they had been living in Gran Canaria when Yeremi disappeared.

“The difference now is that we have documentary evidence showing they were in Los Llanos, the neighbourhood Yeremi lived in, around the date he disappeared.

“It’s not a tourist area you’d expect foreigners like them to be visiting.”

He said all three had refused to see detectives and added: “At this point in time, we regard all three men as suspects and we will continue to investigate them.”

O’Neill and Lauchlan are also facing a new charge because of the visit concerning the “rape of a minor in Gran Canaria while they were living on the island”, he revealed.

Yeremi’s mother Ithaisa Suarez told a British newspaper four years ago of her fears the pair were behind her son’s abduction. She said: “If they took Yeremi then I would beg them to speak with detectives in Scotland.

“They make me feel sick. I still pray every day that Yeremi will be found but I can’t hide my dark thoughts any more – I

believe they took him.”

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