A schoolgirl who was murdered on the Isle of Bute has been remembered by her schoolteacher as a friendly and happy child.
Alesha MacPhail, six, went missing from her home on the Scottish island at 6.25am on Monday.
Her body was found by police in an abandoned hotel less than three hours later.
Wendy Davie, headteacher of Chapelside Primary School where Alesha had just finished her second year, said she was “part of the family” and would be greatly missed by pupils and staff.
“She loved being at school and enjoyed all aspects of literacy, in particular writing,” Ms Davie said. “She was such a perfectionist in her handwriting and was very proud of her work.
“Alesha was very friendly and she welcomed everyone first thing in the morning at breakfast club. She was a very considerate child who loved being part of a group and she was popular with all the other children and was a smiley and happy young girl.”
The murder has shocked the small community of Rothesay, where extra officers have been brought in to assist with a murder investigation and 24-hour high-visibility patrols.
“Incidents such as this are extremely rare but we are still in the early stages of this investigation and we would ask people to be vigilant about their children and also their household security,” Chief Superintendent Hazel Hendren said.
“It is very important that people are vigilant and look after each other.”
Family and friends of the murdered girl have placed flowers and cards outside her home.
Police said the six-year-old’s family were “devastated”.
“Alesha has lots of friends who will no doubt find it difficult to comprehend why they will never see their friend again,” Detective Superintendent Stuart Houston said.