Missing Bathgate woman found safe and well

A police officer looks on as a helicopter joins the hunt for Irene McCawley

A police officer looks on as a helicopter joins the hunt for Irene McCawley

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A GREAT-grandmother who vanished two days ago after setting out on a five minute walk to her local butcher has been safe and well, police have said.

Irene McCawley turned up at a relative’s home in Bathgate shortly before 5pm today after being missing since around 9am on Wednesday.

Irene McCawley

Irene McCawley

Police said Mrs McCawley was unharmed but are working to establish where she has been since her disappearance from her home in the Boghall area of Bathgate.

Just hours earlier, the distraught family of the pensioner appealed for information that could help trace the 77-year-old.

In a statement released on behalf of her family, her son James McCawley, 41, said: “As a family, we are supporting each other through this extremely difficult time, and we are very grateful for all the support we have had from the local community.

“For mum to have gone missing without any explanation is very worrying, but we refuse to give up hope that she will be found safe and well.

“On behalf of our family, I am appealing to anyone who thinks they have seen or heard from mum since she went missing to contact police right away.”

Her disappearance sparked a massive police search operation, which included aerial searches of the Bathgate area by an RAF helicopter.

Specialist search teams today carried out searches in Bathgate and the surrounding countryside as part of the ongoing search for Mrs McCawley, who was reported missing from her home in Beech Road around 6.50pm on Wednesday.

She had last been seen around 9am that day, when she left her home to visit a local butcher’s in Elizabeth Drive. She did not arrive at the shop, and had not been seen or heard from since then.

Earlier today, Inspector Neill Whiteside said: “Mrs McCawley’s disappearance is very much out of character, and we are anxious to trace her as soon as possible.”