Clothing found in garden as search for teen continues

Hazel North vanished more than two weeks ago. Picture: PA
Hazel North vanished more than two weeks ago. Picture: PA
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POLICE searching for a teenage girl who has been missing for more than a fortnight are investigating a potential sighting.

Hazel North, 19, from Dunfermline, Fife, vanished two weeks ago. She last contacted her sister by telephone on 4 March.

Officers yesterday concluded a search of a flat and garden in Kilmarnock, 60 miles from her home. Detectives said they did not find anything suspicious.

A member of the public has reported seeing North in the town’s Coronation Drive at around noon on Tuesday last week. It is believed she was in the company of a dark-haired woman dressed in a dark hooded top and dark blue jogging trousers, who was described as being around 5ft 8in, of medium build and with a short, bobbed hairstyle.

North, 19, who is originally from the Cairneyhill area of Dunfermline but has also lived in Stranraer, was last seen when she said she was setting off to visit a male friend in Kilmarnock. Her family alerted police when she failed to get back in touch.

Forensic teams began searches of a garden at a semi-detached property in Northcraig Road, Kilmarnock, on Friday. Examinations continued until yesterday afternoon.

Officers hunting for clues spoke at length to a man living in the neighbouring property after he found what appeared to be women’s clothes in his garden.

Edward Steele, 39, was questioned after police arrived at the scene in East Ayrshire. He said: “They chapped on my door at about 5.30am and questioned me all day. I moved some clothes in our garden a couple of days ago and put them in the bin.

“They were black trousers and a pink top. They were maukit and soaking, so I just put them in the bin.

“A couple of weeks ago I saw two girls standing in the back garden. They were in their 20s, and if I see them again I’d know them. The police showed me a picture of the missing girl, but it’s not her.”

Steele, who said he was not a suspect and had not been cautioned, added: “They took DNA samples from my mouth because I’d touched the clothes.”

The property that was searched is one of four flats in a social housing development. Superintendent Neil Kerr, who is leading the investigation, said: “We are currently following a number of lines of inquiry, speaking to family and friends to ascertain more information about Hazel and as to where she may be.

“Her family is obviously concerned. If anyone has any information, please do contact us.”

North is 5ft 8in and of slim build with a fair complexion. She has brown hair.