THE daughter of a woman whose body was found in a disused quarry almost a year ago has appealed for help in solving the mystery of her mother’s death.
Sarah Smith said her family needed “closure” over how tragic Betty Brown died as the first anniversary of her body’s discovery approaches on Wednesday.
Detectives believe the 56-year-old Gorgie grandmother may have been murdered, adding that “exhaustive attempts” had been made to determine the circumstances surrounding her death.
Officers said they have “scaled back” the investigation until the inquiry teams receives new information.
Mrs Brown’s remains were found by a dog walker in the Longtown area of Cumbria on January 18 last year, nearly seven months after she was last seen alive in Edinburgh.
It is believed she travelled on the X95 bus which runs from the Capital to Carlisle, but appeals for any witnesses to shed light on her movements, including one on BBC’s Crimewatch programme, have so far failed to provide her family with answers.
Her daughter, Sarah Smith, 25, who lives in Gretna, said: “I just want anyone who might have seen her to contact the police. They might be too scared to come forward but I would urge them to pluck up the courage and go to the phone.
“We have had a funeral for her, but the family needs some closure as to what happened.
“We were hoping for a better response from the Crimewatch appeal but it didn’t really happen, apart from a few people saying that thought they had spotted her on a bus.
“My thoughts are that she was coming to visit me, otherwise she would not come down here.
“It was totally out of character for her to come down here on her own.”
Mrs Smith, a mother-of-three who was pregnant with youngest son Reece at the time of her mother’s disappearance, added: “It has been very difficult for us all but slightly easier for me as I have my kids and husband to support me.
“For the rest of the family, it has been more difficult, especially for my two brothers, Stuart and Jason, who live alone.
“She was a very happy person. She had lots of hobbies, such as walking and swimming, or going for a wee drink with her friends.
“It may take months or years but we need to know what happened that day.”
Mrs Brown was last spotted on May 28, 2010, on a bus on Nicolson Street.
Detectives are treating her death as suspicious and believe that Mrs Brown may have been murdered after forensic tests pinpointed rib injuries indicating a possible attack.
Detective Chief Inspector Jeff Ashton, of Cumbria Police, who has led the inquiry into Mrs Brown’s death, said: “We conducted a number of appeals in the local media and on BBC Crimewatch, and followed a number of leads, but these have so far failed to answer our questions.
“The more significant anniversary for us was a year on from her disappearance on May 28, 2010, as we have always hoped that we would be able to trace someone who saw what happened to Betty after she was last seen on the number 3 bus in Edinburgh that day.”