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Wick family commend police for attempt to solve Renee MacRae case

By Gordon Calder

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A CAITHNESS family has commended Police Scotland for its "determination and commitment" to solve the Renee and Andrew MacRae case, 43 years after their disappearance and alleged murder.

Mrs MacRae, who was 36 and from Inverness, and her three-year-old son Andrew disappeared on November 12, 1976. They were travelling to Perth but never got there. Mrs MacRae's burnt-out BMW car was discovered in a lay-by on the A9 south of Inverness. Police have been treating the case as a murder inquiry.

Last month detectives said they would drain the Leanach quarry at Culloden in an attempt to solve the mystery. That has now happened and silt and debris will be removed and taken for forensic testing.

June and Hugh McLeod complimented the police for their actions but are disappointed the same commitment is not being shown to solve the case of their 24-year-old son, Kevin, whose body was found in Wick harbour 22 years ago.

Hugh and June McLeod commended the police for trying to solve the Renee MacRae case.
Hugh and June McLeod commended the police for trying to solve the Renee MacRae case.

The McLeods have always said the injuries on Kevin's body were consistent with him being murdered and have campaigned to find out what happened to him but the police has insisted his death was a tragic accident.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Allan McLeod, Kevin's uncle, praised the police for trying to solve the historic MacRae case.

"Police Scotland have to be commended regarding their determination and commitment in their attempt to solve this historic Highland case which, hopefully, will bring closure to the family. Its therefore disappointing that homicide detectives have not shown the same determination and commitment to solve Kevin’s horrific case or attempt to bring closure for our family after it was discovered and revealed by Police Scotland in 2017– 20 years after Kevin’s death – that legacy force Northern Constabulary, had in 1997, ignored a direction from prosecutors to investigate Kevin’s death as murder."

Mr McLeod said it is "alarming" the police ignored the instruction and asked why the case was not "at any stage then upgraded back to a murder enquiry."

As reported last week, the former Lord Advocate of Scotland, Dame Elish Angiolini, who is carrying out an independent review of how police handle complaints, has offered to meet the McLeods.

She invited them to discuss their concerns with her and is willing to travel to Wick to meet them.

Following the invitation, Allan McLeod said: "One issue that the family will definitely bring to Dame Angiolini’s attention is that after Northern Constabulary’s Chief Constable Ian Latimer and the Northern Joint Police Board had in 2002 invited Central Scotland’s Chief Constable Andrew Cameron to review the handling of our complaints, the final report was concealed from the family by the authorities. The family, five years later, in 2007, with the Information Commissioners intervention, finally received a heavily redacted copy of the Cameron report. Its contents made disturbing reading and numerous pages regarding any potential misconduct issues were concealed."

A Freedom of Information requested indicated that the cost of the 10-month Cameron review was about £300,000.

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