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Last Updated: Friday, 26 August 2005, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Five sought by Rory murder police
Rory Blackhall
Police are trying to piece together Rory's movements
Police searching for the killer of schoolboy Rory Blackhall have issued an appeal for help in tracing five people.

The plea follows a reconstruction of the 11-year-old's final journey to school in Livingston last Thursday.

They want to trace two men, possibly vagrants, who were seen that morning on the Nellburn Path used by Rory.

There were also reports of a black-clad man seen in the area last Wednesday and a teenager and another male sitting at a camp fire in woods on Saturday.

Police have been sifting through details from hundreds of calls, questionnaires and statements from the public in their efforts to build up a picture of what happened to the youngster.

Rory, from the Adambrae area of the town, was last seen when he was dropped off near his primary school by his mother Michelle, 41, last Thursday morning.

The alarm was raised when his grandfather arrived at Meldrum Primary to pick him up that afternoon and it was realised that he had failed to turn up for class.

Denim jackets

Lothian and Borders Police said two men, who witnesses described as possible vagrants, were seen on Nellburn Path.

The men were said to be in their 30s, 5ft 11in tall and of slim build. They were wearing denim jackets and blue jeans. One had a can of lager and the other a small bottle of beer.

Two witnesses reported seeing them at 0935 BST as they walked south on Nellburn Path 100 yards south of the underpass where Rory was last seen.

It is important that all these people come forward so we can establish if they saw anything that might help with trying to find Rory's killer
Tom Martin
Detective Inspector

At 0830 BST last Wednesday, a father who was walking his children to school saw a man dressed in black and wearing a black deerstalker-type hat coming out of the woods near the electricity sub-station close to Westwood Park.

At 0630 on Saturday, two days after Rory's disappearance, a dog walker saw smoke coming from woods near Dechmont Law and spotted a teenage boy and another male at a large camp fire.

The youth was wearing a shirt with vertical stripes and fawn-coloured trousers. The male was reported to have been wearing black or dark clothing and had short dark hair.

Rory's body was discovered in the woods on Sunday.

Detective Inspector Tom Martin said: "These three witness appeals are as a direct result of yesterday's publicity.

Incident room
Police have been sifting through information from the public

"We are keen to trace all the people from these appeals: the two 'vagrant' type men seen on Nellburn Path, the man with the deerstalker in Woodlands Park and the two people around the camp fire in the woods near Dechmont Law.

"It is important that all these people come forward so we can establish if they saw anything that might help with trying to find Rory's killer."

A woman who was standing at a nearby bus stop has now given a statement to police.

It was hoped she could give some clues as to the direction Rory took after being dropped off at about 0830 BST on 18 August.

Chief Inspector Jim Thompson said even the "minutest snippet" of information could be valuable and should be passed on to police immediately.

A dedicated email address has been set up by police appealing for information. It is roryblackhallenquiry@lbp.pnn.police.uk.

Meanwhile, the police have criticised the media for speculation over what happened to Rory and how he died.

They warned that it was ill-timed, ill-advised and unhelpful.

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