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Two carers arrested over Margaret Fleming appear in court

The carers of a missing woman who has not been seen for almost two decades appeared in court charged with her murder and abduction today.

Margaret Fleming, 36, was reported missing from her home in Inverkip, Renfrewshire, on October 28 last year.

Police were alerted to her disappearance by her carers Eddie Cairney, 76, and Avril Jones, 57, who appeared at Greenock Sheriff Court this morning.

Edward Cairney, 76, has appeared at Greenock Sheriff Court after being detained on Thursday and arrested last night. He is pictured arriving at court this morning

 The carers arrived at court in the same G4s Ford car but at separate times. Cairney is pictured

 The carers arrived at court in the same G4s Ford car but at separate times. Cairney is pictured

Margaret Fleming was reported missing in October last year - but investigations revealed she hadn't been seen by anyone since 1999

Ms Fleming is pictured here

The arrests came as police hunted for Margaret Fleming, who was reported missing from her home in Inverkip, Inverclyde, last October. She has not been seen since 1999

The pair were detained yesterday and arrested last night. 

Officers said they are the only people to have seen Margaret, who has been described as ‘vulnerable’, since a family gathering on 17 December 1999.  

A search for her was launched after officers were asked by social work officers to visit her remote five-bedroom house, which lies next to the Scottish coast.

Police forensic teams spent months sifting through the house for any documentation of her life, and a large garden at the property was excavated as part of the search.

The probe extended more than 500 metres into the River Clyde and also into a nearby woodland but her whereabouts remain a mystery.

Avril Jones is pictured leaving the home she shared with Margaret and Cairney

Cairney is pictured leaving the property

 Cairney and Avril Jones are pictured leaving the home they shared with Margaret

Ms Fleming was reported missing last year after police visited this home with social workers, but the last confirmed sighting of her was in 1999

Police forensic teams spent months sifting through the house Ms Fleming lived in for any documentation of her life, and a large garden at the property was excavated as part of the search 

Police forensic teams spent months sifting through the house Ms Fleming lived in for any documentation of her life, and a large garden at the property was excavated as part of the search 

Before Margaret started living with her carers, she had lived with her father Frederick in Port Glasgow until his death in 1995.

She then lived with her grandparents and mother Margaret until moving in with her carers in 1997.

Margaret is also believed to have attended John Watt College in Greenock between 1996 and 1998.

The probe extended more than 500 metres into the River Clyde and also into a nearby woodland but her whereabouts remain a mystery

The probe extended more than 500 metres into the River Clyde and also into a nearby woodland but her whereabouts remain a mystery

Police have appealed to her extended family based in the USA and contacted every single Margaret Fleming in the UK

Police have appealed to her extended family based in the USA and contacted every single Margaret Fleming in the UK

She is described as around 5ft 5 inches in height with a heavy build, with collar length black hair and brown eyes.

When last seen, she was wearing a green coloured tartan fleece or jumper, dark coloured jeans or trousers, wearing ‘Karrimor’ type boots which were dark in colour.

Police have appealed to her extended family based in the USA and contacted every single Margaret Fleming in the UK.

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