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POLICE yesterday began to exhume a family grave in the search for the remains of a girl who vanished almost 56 years ago.

Moira Anderson was 11 when she went missing from her home in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, in February 1957 while running an errand for her grandmother. It is widely believed that she was abducted and murdered, but her body has never been found.

The case remains unsolved, although convicted paedophile Alexander Gartshore, a Coatbridge bus driver who died in 2006, has been connected with the disappearance. Yesterday, investigators began excavating the plot of Sinclair Upton, said to have been an acquaintance of Gartshore, to see if the schoolgirl's remains were hidden there. The excavation at Old Monkland Cemetery in Coatbridge is being led by Professor Sue Black and a team from the forensic anthropology department at Dundee University.

Police believe the burial plot has three layers and there may be up to eight people interred there.

Officers expected to be on the site for a few days and Prof Black will be in a better position today to provide a timescale, the police said.

Experts are exploring the possibility that Moira's body may have been dumped under a coffin in the grave, which was thought to have been open around the time of her disappearance.

The operation comes after Airdrie Sheriff Court gave police the go-ahead last month.


SEARCH A police man at Old Monkland Cemetery in Coatbridge, Scotland, where police are searching for the remains of Moira Anderson
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 9, 2013
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