Tributes have been left outside Mikaeel Kular’s home in Edinburgh as the community comes to terms with the tragic news.
Heartbroken locals, many of whom had joined in the search for the child after he was reported missing on Thursday morning, have left left soft toys, wrote notes and lit candles which have been placed in the small park.
And tributes have also been left otside the home in Dunvegan Avenue, Kirkcaldy, close to the area of woodland where Mikaeel’s body was discovered on Friday night.
Police today watched over the solemn scenes in Edinburgh, as dozens of people silently filtered by and took in the huge number of heartfelt messages.
One read: “Sleep tight Mikaeel, always in our thoughts wee man. Heaven has gained a new angel.”
Nine-year-old Leo Collins, who had helped look for Mikaeel, left a picture he had drawn of the youngster with the note “please come back”.
His mum, Angela Reed, 37, said: “When I found out what had happened yesterday morning I couldn’t believe it, I was just crying and it shock. It’s heartbreaking. For it to end like this is awful but it has showed real community spirit.”
On Saturday a steady stream of people, including many local residents with children, arrived throughout the day to pay their respects.
Flowers, toys, candles and messages have been left outside the Ferry Gait duplex flat where Mikaeel lived with his family.
One of them read: “We don’t know you but you belonged to our community. You are one of us. Always and forever.”
Another read: “RIP Mikaeel Kular. May the angels hold you tight.”
At the scene, grandmother Leann Bruce said: “I live in the neighbourhood. It’s been quite upsetting really, to be honest, and I just wanted to come and pay my respects.”
She said she did not know Mikaeel but had seen him many times when she was out walking her dogs.
“He was always smiling and waving, but I didn’t know him personally,” she said.
On the community response, she said: “They’ve come together really well, it’s been nice to see. I feel like everyone’s upset by this and was hoping for a good outcome, but sadly it’s not been, so it’s quite distressing.
“I came down because you’ve got to give a thought to the other children that are affected by this. They must be feeling so sad and devastated. I just feel so upset by it.”
Local Councillor Cammy Day told the BBC: “People are devastated this morning.
“People have come out in their hundreds across this community and wider, all day yesterday and before, and they would be ready to come out this morning and to hear the news is absolutely devastating.
“It’s a real travesty for this community but of course our thoughts are with the family and individuals involved.”
He added: “It absolutely shows the community spirit is alive and when people need to help out then they do.”
Chairman Robert Pearson, chairman of local residents association Tenants and Residents in Muirhouse (TRIM) also paid tribute.
He said: “I, like everyone else in North Edinburgh will be saddened to learn that police have found a the body of a child in the search for Mikaeel. Over the last few days this community, as well as people from all over the country, has come together to search for him.
“Whilst it can be easy for us to all to jump to conclusions about what has happened we need to remain calm and allow the Police to continue with their investigation.
“I would like to thank everyone who turned out to help search for Mikaeel, as well as people going out searching I would also like to thank all the companies and businesses that came forward and gave us torches, food and biscuits.
“Sometime it takes something like this to bring people together, I have seen older people, young people, families and teenagers all given up their time to search the entire area over the past two days.
“On reflection, I and everyone at TRIM, are so proud of the community we all live in. Obviously as time went on we were all aware that the chances of a positive were diminishing but that never stopped us. People continued to turn at all times of the day and night to help, and everyone who got involved should be so proud of themselves.”