THE search for a three-year-old boy who disappeared from his home overnight has been extended to the coastline.
A major operation is under way in Edinburgh to locate Mikaeel Kular after his mother found his bed empty this morning.
Aberdeen Coastguard has been drafted in to help search the coastline near the three-year-olds home.
A police helicopter, sniffer dogs and lifeboat teams have also been tasked in the search for the toddler who was last seen at his family’s flat in Ferry Gait Crescent at around 9pm.
His jacket and shoes are missing and police are looking into whether he might have left of his own accord. Police said there is currently no evidence of criminal behaviour.
A dedicated telephone number has been set up for anyone who has seen the child or has information about his whereabouts.
Neighbours on the modern housing estate have joined the search for Mikaeel, a twin with three other siblings.
One resident, who did not want to give her name, said: “I got woken up at the back of 7am by the police, asking if I’d seen the wee one.
“I got the fright of my life because I’ve got a child. It’s just absolutely horrific.
“I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. The first thing I did was actually search the stair.”
The neighbour said a group of about 10 mothers have been out in their cars searching the area.
Police Scotland Superintendent Liz McAinsh said the force is using all the resources at its disposal in the hunt.
Asked whether there were any custody issues with the family, she said: “Obviously we are following all lines of inquiry, there are no concerns that we have at the moment.
“We are following all lines of inquiry with all partner agencies and with the family and the family are being very helpful at the moment.
“As you can imagine, Mikaeel’s mother is distraught. She just wants our help and the public’s help in finding her little boy.”
The police search is focusing on the Pennywell and Muirhouse areas of the city. Coastguard and lifeboat teams have meanwhile been scouring the shoreline in the Cramond and Drylaw areas.
Mikaeel is described as 3ft, of Asian appearance and possibly wearing a beige hooded jacket, blue jogging bottoms, brown Clarks shoes and nightwear.
The youngster attends a local nursery and Ms McAinsh said: “They say Mikaeel is a friendly, playful wee boy and they are obviously concerned for his safety as well and will do everything they can to help us in finding Mikaeel.”
The dedicated number for anyone with information on the child’s disappearance is 0300 200 0200.