Fears grow for missing woman a week on from shock disappearance

Heather McKay with her daughter Andrea

Heather McKay with her daughter Andrea

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CONCERNS are growing for the safety of a woman who disappeared a week ago, as police launched a fresh appeal for information from the local community.

Heather McKay, 51, vanished last Friday morning in a move which has been described as “entirely out of character”.

The friendly and sociable woman, who is usually in contact with her daughter every day, has not been seen since last Friday at 7.30am.

Today, police were issuing a fresh appeal in Dechmont, West Lothian, handing out leaflets and talking to residents in the hope of refreshing the memories of those who may have spotted the mum-of-two.

Thousands of supporters have joined a Facebook group – Heather McKay Missing Person – to help find her and rally around her increasingly desperate family.

Daughter Andrea Waddell yesterday issued a heartfelt appeal on the site to find her. She said: “Mum . . . If you can see this, surely you can see the people who want you home safe and well 
. . . I need you . . . I miss you :( and im 
worried sick about you . . . Ive never went this long with out speaking to you :( Come home, please . . . come home to me and Kevin x.”

Inspector Neill Whiteside confirmed that Ms McKay had never gone missing before and that police were not aware of any dispute or distress that she was undergoing.

He told the Evening News: “We’re approaching the one-week mark so we are increasingly concerned. We are planning to speak to motorists and regular travellers who may have seen Ms McKay, and are hoping to jog their memories.

“She had been staying at her friend’s house, but there was nothing out of the ordinary about her stay. There is no information to suggest a disagreement and there doesn’t appear to have been a trigger.

“At the moment, this is a missing person’s inquiry. There is nothing specific to suggest that she would go away.”

He said that if anyone was missing for a week without any obvious reason, it raised their sense of alarm.

He added: “There have been several unconfirmed sightings and each will be followed up.”

Although it is not known whether Ms McKay has used a mobile phone, bank cards or social networking devices since her disappearance, it is understood that none of her private effects have indicated where she may be.

She may be wearing a light blue Berghaus rain jacket, jeans and a pair of Hi-Tec walking boots.

Ms McKay is described as around 5ft 7in tall, medium build with hazel/green eyes and brown hair. She speaks with a Scottish accent and has a small burn mark on her forearm and a small tattoo on her right shoulder.

Hundreds of messages of support have been left for her family on networking site Facebook.

Stephanie Welsh said: “My thoughts are with you and your family at this horrible time, I hope your mother returns home to you soon xx”

Mairi Brown said: “Your post is so heartfelt. Lump in my throat!”

Anybody with any information can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131-311 3131.