POLICE Forensic specialists are searching a 17m stretch of the Monklands Canal, near Coatbridge, in a bid to find the final resting place of Moira Anderson who disappeared from her home in 1957, aged 11, while running an errand for her grandmother.
Specialists are using ground-penetrating radar and magnetrometry to identify sites on the canal bottom below silt. These will then be explored by police divers.
Police are working on the theory that bus driver, Alexander Gartshore, murdered Moira. Gartshore, who died in 2006, and who, police say they would now have charged with the murder if he had still been alive, knew the area well and parked his bus regularly at a turning circle near the canal.
Detective Superintendent Pat Campbell of Police Scotland said: “The area is about 900m from the last reported siting of Moira on 23 February 1957. There was a sighting on 24 February of a male moving a large sack towards the canal. We are looking for skeletal remains, jewellery or clothing that might have survived in the hope that we can bring final closure to this tragic case.”
The section of the Monklands Canal near Carnbroe is one of its last, surviving stretches. The canal was built to connect Coatbridge with Glasgow and much of its route has been piped and buried under the M8 urban motorway, although it still supplies water to the Forth & Clyde Canal at Spiers Wharf in Glasgow.
The stretch under police examination is expected to be closed to users for at least two weeks.