LONDON: In a case that has shaken up Scotland, an Indian-origin mother has been charged with the death of her three-year-old son, who mysteriously disappeared from his home in Scotland last week.
Rosdeep Kular, 33, is due to appear at the Edinburgh sheriff’s court on Monday over the death of Mikaeel Kular, who was reported missing on Wednesday evening, prompting a massive search operation.
Kular was detained on Friday night and arrested and charged on Saturday after Mikaeel’s body was found by officers in woodland behind her former home in Kirkcaldy, Fife, where she lived before moving to Edinburgh.
She was charged after almost 24 hours of questioning, as police confirmed the body was that of her missing son. The body was removed by officers for an autopsy.
Assistant chief constable Malcolm Graham of Police Scotland said: “Following formal identification, I can now confirm that a 33-year-old woman has been arrested and charged in connection with Mikaeel’s death. The woman is expected to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday.”
Kular, a mother of five, told police that she put her son to bed at 9pm on Wednesday, but when she went to wake him up at 7:15am the following morning he was missing.
She also said that on the night when Mikaeel allegedly disappeared, he was sleeping alone in the bedroom he normally shared with his twin sister Ashika.
Officers initially suggested that the little boy may have got up in the middle of the night, put on his clothes, and left the building “for a wander”.
It later emerged that Mikaeel had not been at his nursery school for almost a month because of an apparent chest infection.
Neighbours said they had not seen Mikaeel for some time and that the little boy’s domestic circumstances were complex.
He had never met his biological father, who is of Pakistani origin, and his mother was estranged from her husband, Omotoso Adekunle Adekoya, 35, a taxi driver from Nigeria who lives nearby.
On her Facebook page Kular, who runs a mobile health and beauty studio, indicated a love of partying and nightclubs that saw her nicknamed the “dancing queen”.
It has been claimed that the parents of her estranged husband had reservations about her lifestyle which they believe contributed to the collapse of her marriage.
Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond said: “This is a tragic development in this harrowing story and the news that we have all been dreading.
“The hearts of everyone across Scotland and beyond have been touched by the events of recent days. We should at this difficult time remember the work of the officers of Police Scotland who have responded to this difficult task and investigation and shown such professionalism and dedication.”
Kular’s sister Pandeep, 37, currently lives at the house near which the body was found, has not implicated in any way in the discovery. Her mother Harjinder, a retired doctor, also lives nearby.
Mikaeel’s disappearance led to a large search operation involving hundreds of volunteers from across Scotland. For two days, Police Scotland insisted there was no evidence of criminality, and expressed sympathy for Mikaeel’s “very distraught” mother.
But the tone of the inquiry changed early on Friday evening when officers admitted for the first time that the child could be the victim of a crime.
Mikaeel had not been at nursery since Christmas and the discovery raises the possibility that he may have died some time before the alarm was raised.
Hundreds of people attended a memorial service for the little boy at Muirhouse St Andrew’s Church in Edinburgh, less than a mile from Mikaeel’s home.
Men, women and children of all ages filled the 300-capacity church building and an overflow room which could hold another 80 people.
Bangarpet Krishnaswamy, a Bangalore doctor married to Mikaeel’s grandmother Harjinder, gave an emotional tribute to those who helped search for the little boy.
“I would like to thank all the public and the police for the search, which sadly turned out to be a futile,” he told the ‘Sunday Mirror’.
Floral tributes, soft toys and candles have been placed at a small park in the Drylaw area in Edinburgh, just around the corner from the flat where Mikaeel lived on Ferry Gait Crescent.