Cuddly toy tributes for Mikaeel Kular have been removed amid plans to donate them to needy children.
Hundreds of cards, flowers and soft toys were left by residents paying their respects to Mikaeel, whose body was found in a wooded area in Fife on January 18.
Makeshift memorial sites were set up in Millennium Park, near Mikaeel’s Ferry Gait Crescent home, and outside a home he had lived in at Kirkcaldy.
Police began removing hundreds of tributes from the Edinburgh site yesterday.
It is understood Mikaeel’s family wanted to see all the toys donated to charity to comfort children.
The written tributes have been collected for the family to read at a later date.
Last night, Muirhouse councillor Cammy Day said now that the gifts had been removed, the community was keen to move on and establish a permanent memorial.
He said: “Police officers have removed the cuddly toys to be steam cleaned ... the plan is to donate them to charity as per the family’s wishes.
I had a look at the memorial and there is an awful lot of toys, perhaps as many as 200.”
However, the Evening News can reveal initial plans to donate the toys to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children are to be revised because they are deemed to be an infection risk to sick youngsters.
Dorothy Hanley, chief nurse at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, explained: “Unfortunately, under our infection control policy we are unable to accept soft toys and have had to decline this kind offer.”
Reports the three-year-old was missing prompted a huge search, with emergency services and the public scouring the area near his home.
The sea of tributes was left by devastated residents in his memory after news broke his body had been found.
Many children felt compelled to leave their favourite teddies and dolls in honour of the little lad.
News of the clear-up comes as details of a bank account set up to collect funds for a permanent memorial for Mikaeel have been released.
Already, thousands of pounds worth of pledges have been made to the Tenants & Residents in Muirhouse Memorial Fund.
Chairman Robert Pearson has been overwhelmed by the public response.
He said: “The community will decide together what the fund will be used for in due course. I would like to stress that this is not an appeal, but if people do wish to make a donation to the memorial fund it will be warmly received.”
Rosdeep Adekoya, 33, who has been charged with murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice, is due back in court today.