Grave to be exhumed in search for schoolgirl killed more than five decades ago
POLICE are to exhume a family grave in the search for the body of a schoolgirl killed more than five decades ago.
Moira Anderson vanished aged 11 during a trip to the shops in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, in 1957.
Local bus driver and convicted child rapist Alexander Gartshore, who died in 2006, has been linked to her disappearance which police are treating as murder.
A sheriff yesterday granted a request from Moira’s relatives to open a grave at the Old Monkland cemetery where they believe she is buried.
Police will now search the family plot of Sinclair Upton, an acquaintance of Gartshore’s, in a bid to draw the 55-year mystery to a close.
A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said: “Following a court hearing, Strathclyde Police has been instructed to undertake an exhumation of a burial plot within Old Monkland Cemetery.
“A detailed strategy, endorsed by the Crown Office, has been prepared.
“This process is expected to take several days and will involve highly skilled personnel trained in the techniques required for this type of work.
“This is a very sensitive issue and we have been liaising with the families to ensure they are kept informed.”
Moira went missing after getting on a bus as she ran an errand to the Co-op for her family.
Her body was never found and Scotland’s Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland ordered cold case detectives to reopen the case as a murder earlier this year.
Gartshore’s daughter Sandra Brown has written a book detailing her suspicions that her late father was Moira’s killer.
Moira’s sister Janet Hart, who lives in Australia, launched a petition to get Upton’s grave exhumed, believing that Gartshore may have dumped her body there in the days before Upton was laid to rest.
Upton’s great-grandchild, also called Sinclair, told the Daily Record: “I just hope they find that wee lassie to give the family a bit of closure.”
Ms Brown told the newspaper: “I truly believe this grave has secrets to give up. We owe it to Moira to open it.”
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