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Three appear in court charged with 1996 murder of Scottish schoolgirl

·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Police Scotland/PA</span>
Photograph: Police Scotland/PA

Three people have appeared in court in Scotland charged with the murder of the 14-year-old schoolgirl Caroline Glachan in 1996.

Robert O’Brien, 43, Andrew Kelly and Donna Brand, both 42, appeared in private before Dumbarton sheriff court. Police had confirmed the arrests earlier on Thursday.

The three accused, all from Dumbarton, made no plea or declaration and were remanded in police custody. They are due to return to court next week.

DCI Stuart Grainger, of Police Scotland’s major investigations team, said: “I would like to thank the members of the public who have assisted with our investigation and those who have come forward with important information surrounding Caroline’s death.”

Caroline, from Bonhill, was found dead on the banks of the River Leven in Renton, West Dunbartonshire, on 25 August 1996. She was last seen alive at 12.15am on 24 August, when she walked to meet her boyfriend in Renton, having spent an evening with friends.

One of those friends was Joanne Menzies, who was believed to be one of the last people to see the former Our Lady and St Patrick’s high school pupil at about 11.54pm.

It is understood Caroline took a shortcut from shops near her home along Dillichip Loan towards Dillichip Bridge, known locally as the Black Bridge – which no longer exists – and then on to the river towpath at about 12.15am. She never made it to her boyfriend’s home and her body was found the next morning, on her mother’s 40th birthday, partially submerged in the river.

Caroline’s mother, Margaret McKeich, previously said: “I am just waiting for that knock on the door telling me there has been a breakthrough. I imagine that scenario all the time and think about what it would be like. The cold case team are looking at it with a fresh pair of eyes and starting from the beginning so there is a lot for them to get through.”

Caroline’s death became one of Scotland’s most high-profile unsolved cases. After it featured on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme in 2016, Police Scotland announced it had received 20 calls from members of the public with information. Some of the calls were in relation to the identity of a hooded man in an artist’s impression.

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