Carers detained in hunt for missing woman Margaret Fleming

Police forensic officers have detained two people in connection to the disapperance of Margaret Fleming, who was last seen on December 17, 1999 at a family gathering
Police forensic officers have detained two people in connection to the disapperance of Margaret Fleming, who was last seen on December 17, 1999 at a family gathering
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Two people have been detained by police investigating the disappearance of a Glasgow woman who has not been seen for almost two decades.

Margaret Fleming, 36, was reported missing by her two carers in October last year from her home in Inverkip, Inverclyde.

The final independent sighting of her was actually at a family event on 17 December 17 1999.

Police forensic teams spent months sifting through the house Ms Fleming lived in for any documentation of her life and a large garden at the property was excavated as part of the search.

The carers moved out of the property and no clues as to Ms Fleming’s whereabouts were found by police as the search was extended to nearby water and woodland.

Police Scotland confirmed Ms Fleming’s carers – a man and a woman – had been detained in connection with the investigation.

Ms Fleming is thought to have lived with her father in Port Glasgow before he died in October 1995.

She then lived with her grandparents and her mother, but later moved in with carers in 1997 and has been estranged from her mother since.

Her carers Eddie Cairney and Avril Jones told BBC Scotland in an interview earlier this month they had spoken to the missing woman recently.

Ms Fleming, who is believed to have learning difficulties, had only been seen by her carers since 1999, before they reported her missing.

The report was made after police visited the five-bedroom cottage at Inverkip, Inverclyde, said to be over inquiries from a benefits agency.

Mr Cairney, 75, told BBC Scotland he has spoken to her since then, claiming she had been in London and Poland.

He said: ‘’She has been here once. Not here, not to the house, but we have seen her once.”

He added: ‘’She has come to no harm unless she has got harmed in the past couple of weeks.’’

In August Inverclyde Council ordered the Inverkip property to be demolished unless urgent repair works were carried out, saying it was in a “serious state of disrepair”.

The property was reportedly sold last week for £120,000.

Ms Fleming is described as 5ft 5in with a heavy build, collar-length black hair and brown eyes.

When reported missing on October 28 last year, she was said to be wearing a green tartan fleece, dark trousers, dark Karrimor boots and was carrying a handbag.

BBC Scotland said the original police contact was triggered by a call from a benefits agency as it appears her Disability Living Allowance was being replaced by a Personal Independence Payment and she needed to attend an assessment.

Mr Cairney told the broadcaster Ms Fleming had a ‘’persecution complex’’ and was afraid of authority, claiming she ran off when officers arrived at the house.

He said: ‘’I turned around to get Margaret and she was gone, out of the door. There was police at the back, police at the front, she could not get out of that door without being seen.

‘’I don’t know which way she went. She must have just walked right through them.’’

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