Hospital grounds are to be searched over the disappearance of a teenage girl in West Dunbartonshire 44 years ago.
Detectives searching for Mary Duncan, who was 17-years-old when she vanished from her home in Alexandria in 1976, will look at a number of sites at the Vale of Leven Hospital.
No trace of Mary, who left behind a baby daughter, has ever been found despite extensive police enquires.
Officers say searches will begin at two specific parts of the hospital on Monday and will continue for a number of weeks.
Patients have been reassured that the hospital will continue to function as normal.
Detective superintendent Calum Young from West Dunbartonshire CID said: “Mary left her home at 17 years of age, with no money and has never claimed benefits, paid tax or national insurance.
“She also left behind her baby girl Laura, who family say she absolutely adored.
“Extensive enquiries continue in an attempt to find any indication of where Mary could be, however due to the fact that she has not been seen or heard from in 44 years, we must consider the option that she may have come to harm.
“Specialist officers will be searching a number of locations at the Vale of Leven Hospital in connection with the investigation.
“I would like to take this opportunity to remind members of the public and the media that this is still a functioning hospital and disruption must be kept to an absolute minimum.
“It is also vital that the search team are left to get on with this important work and any updates will be provided in due course.”
Marie Farrell, director of Clyde sector, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “We have been working with Police Scotland on the planned excavation of a number of sites in the grounds of the Vale of Leven hospital.
“We would like to reassure patients that there will be no disruption to patient care as a consequence of these enquiries.”
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