Tragic couple were "apart for four hours but are back together again forever"

Sandra and David McLeod.Sandra and David McLeod.
Sandra and David McLeod.
A Borders family is this week mourning the loss of a loving couple in heartbreaking circumstances.

David McLeod, who was 78, sparked a massive search after going missing on Thursday evening.

He had left the family home in Woodstock Avenue in Galashiels at 8pm, saying he was “just going to get a paper”, something he did often, despite being diagnosed with dementia earlier this year.

On this occasion, however, he never returned home.

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David had been spotted on CCTV outside the Ship Inn in Melrose at 9.15pm, and there was another possible sighting on the Melrose bypass half an hour later, but there were no further sightings.

A few hours later – at 12.55am – his wife Sandra, who had been very ill for months, died peacefully at home.

The next morning, a huge search party, including friends, family, police and the mountain rescue team, began looking for David, with the family desperate to find the popular grandad, knowing he had no idea his beloved wife had died. As the hours and days passed without word or sight of David, hopes of finding him alive dwindled.

The family’s fears were realised as police confirmed on Sunday that a body had been found in the Cauldshiels Loch area. A Facebook post by a family member said his watch had stopped at 12.55am.

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The grieving family has thanked everyone for their efforts, and said the couple will be sorely missed.

A statement, signed by “Sandra, Mary, David, Kelly, Marion and the rest of the family”, read: “The McLeod family far and wide would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for sharing our dad's/grandad's information and photo, and the dog walkers who were keeping an eye out for Dave … more importantly, the police, dog handlers and the mountain rescue team.

"Unfortunately it looks like he died round about the same time as “the wife” as he called her, on the first night missing.

"They will be sorely missed by all family and friends as they enjoyed nothing more than to have a house full of family around them.

"Sandra and Dave were apart for four hours, but are back together again forever.

"May both dad and mum be able to rest in peace together.”