Borders searchers find missing woman’s body

A BORDERS search team found the body of a woman on Tuesday afternoon while helping police look for a missing West Lothian female, writes Adam Drummond.

The body was discovered by members of the Borders Search and Rescue Unit along with police in dense woodland between the A89 just south of Dechmont and the M8 motorway at Livingston, around 500 metres from where 51-year-old Heather McKay was last seen.

The family of Ms McKay have been informed about the find, but Lothian and Borders Police said that formal identification will not take place until a post-mortem examination is carried out.

The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Borders Search and Rescue Unit and Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue had been called in to help with the search for Ms McKay at the weekend. Team members from both units combed large areas of ground near Livingston on Sunday and Monday, but faced difficult conditions.

Damon Rodwell, from the Borders Search and Rescue Unit, told TheSouthern: “This year’s exceptionally wet summer has had a dramatic affect on vegetation, and conditions for the search were among the most difficult the teams have had to deal with for a long time.

“The forest floors were a mass of tangled brambles and sodden fallen timber, and even the more open areas of wasteland, which would usually be relatively straightforward, presented the teams with a head-high jungle of nettles, thistles, rye-grass and willow-herb.”

Ms McKay was last seen at 7.30am on August 24, after she had stayed at a friend’s house in Dechmont.

Her family made an emotional appeal on Friday, and described Ms McKay’s disappearance as being out of character.