Latest Renee Macrae appeal attracts 20-plus calls

Renee Macrae.
Renee Macrae.

Detectives have received more than 20 calls since an anniversary appeal to try to solve the mystery of a mother who vanished with her toddler son in the Highlands 42 years ago.

Last month police appealed for new information over the disappearance of Renee MacRae and her three-year-old son Andrew.

Detective Inspector Brian Geddes said: “Recent publicity around the anniversary of their disappearance in November resulted in more than 20 calls being received by the enquiry team.

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“This information is being considered and where possible will be investigated further.”

He added: “The circumstances around the disappearance of Renee and Andrew MacRae in 1976 are currently subject to review by detectives from Police Scotland’s Major Investigations Team, which is working to identify new lines of enquiry and develop any existing lines of enquiry where there is potential to progress them further.

“Our priorities remain to bring a person, or persons, to justice and to locate the remains of Renee and Andrew in order to bring some form of closure to their family.”

Last month Renee’s sister Morag Govans, 80, appealed for help to find the missing pair.

The retired nurse is convinced someone is hiding key information that could help crack the murder probe — as cold case cops revealed they’ve identified a potential witness.

Renee, 36, had split from millionaire hubby Gordon and was involved with his accountant Bill MacDowell — dad of Andrew.

Her BMW was found 12 miles south of her home in Inverness with a bloodstained rug in the boot.

Murder squad detectives last month revealed to the Press and Journal they have a keen interest in tracing the luggage belonging to Renee.

The whereabouts of the Antler-made, tobacco-coloured case is being treated as a “significant” piece of evidence.

DI Geddes also disclosed the existence of another previously publicly-unknown piece of evidence – an anonymous letter detailing “suspicious activity” at a quarry near Inverness on the night of the disappearance.

He said: “Specifically, I want to take this opportunity to appeal to someone who wrote anonymously to Northern Constabulary in 1982 regarding information surrounding activity at an unnamed quarry on November 12, 1976.”

Regarding recent police activity at Leanach Quarry, near Culloden Battlefield, the detective said this was “an assessment” of the location for possible follow-up work in the future.

He added: “It was not a search. It was an assessment of the profile of the quarry. It is one of a number of locations we will be looking at, including Dalmagarry Quarry. We will not be in a position to say what we will do at these locations until the review is complete.”

Renee left her home in the Cradlehall area of Inverness with both her sons on November 12, 1976, before dropping her elder son Gordon with her estranged husband.