BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2006, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Police action over MacRae mystery
Renee MacRae poster
The MacRaes' disappearance has been a mystery for 30 years
A report has gone to the procurator fiscal naming the person suspected of killing Inverness mother Renee MacRae and her son more than 30 years ago.

In November 1976, Mrs MacRae and her three-year-old son, Andrew, set off on a drive south from their home.

Her car was later found ablaze in a lay-by on the old A9 just a few miles south of Inverness. Neither Mrs MacRae nor her son have been seen since.

In 2004, police reopened the case and excavated a quarry near the lay-by.

I would like for their remains to be found and like them to have a Christian burial. That is my dearest wish
Morag Govans

Recently Northern Constabulary's chief constable, Ian Latimer, said they believed they had closed what he called "the evidential gap".

It will now be for the Crown Office to decide whether to take further action.

Mrs MacRae's sister Morag Govans said the mystery of the mother and son's disappearance still haunted her 30 years on.

She said: "I hope that the report which was sent to the procurator fiscal has some information that they will be able to prosecute somebody."

Mrs Govans added: "It is always there at the back of my mind. It doesn't go away and it doesn't get any easier over the years."

"I would like for their remains to be found and like them to have a Christian burial. That is my dearest wish."

The quarry is close to the A9 where Mrs MacRae's car was found

The excavation of the disused quarry was prompted by retired officer John Cathcart reporting that there was a smell of decomposing flesh in the area during the original investigation.

In August 2004, police drafted in internationally experienced forensic archaeologists and anthropologists to sift 35,000 tonnes of soil, but no sign of the pair was found.

However, Mr Latimer revealed progress had been made in the inquiry at a press conference in August this year.

Mr Cathcart welcomed the latest development in the case.

He said: "Obviously the best possible evidence would have been the remains of Renee and Andrew.

"If they found something in the quarry they have kept very, very quiet about it and I hope to God that has happened."

Mrs MacRae and Andrew disappeared after heading off to meet her lover Bill McDowell.

Mr McDowell insisted they never met that night. He was interviewed extensively by police at the time.

Renee's sister reacts to the police report

New twist in mother and son case
25 Aug 06 |  Highlands and Islands
No bodies in Renee quarry search
15 Sep 04 |  Scotland
New blood tests in Renee mystery
24 Aug 04 |  Scotland

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific