Little Alesha MacPhail disappeared from her grandparent's home in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute at around 6.25am yesterday before her body was found in woodland at 9am.
Her devastated mum Georgina Lochrane begged for information about her missing daughter after gran Angela King issued a desperate plea to find the youngster.
Alongside an adorable photo of the girl, Angela wrote: "Alesha has gone missing from our house please help look for her".
Mum Georgina, 23, then commented on the post asking what had happened to her daughter, saying: "Someone tell me whats happened that's my daughter."
She then made the heartbreaking discovery Alesha had been found dead after other users posted links to news reports of the tragedy.
She heart-wrenchingly posted: "That’s my f***** daughter”.
Cops are treating Alesha's death as “unexplained”, with murder squad detectives now joining the probe into the tragedy.
A potential line of inquiry is that Alesha may have had a problem with sleepwalking.
A local bus driver, who gave his name only as Peter, told The Times: "They are a nice family and very well known on the island.
"It's really not clear what happened, but I know wee Alesha was known to sleepwalk."
It is understood the youngster was staying with her dad Robert MacPhail and grandparents Calum MacPhail and Angela on the island.
Robert was seen hunting for his daughter "white as a sheet" and calling out her name.
Members of Angela's family claimed the grandparents, who had been looking after Alesha for part of the summer holidays, had tried to make contact with her mum.
A huge search was launched when they raised the alarm with cops and locals scouring the area as a police helicopter hovered overhead.
The family’s flat, which is close to the seafront, was taped off as forensics teams swooped.
A cordon was also thrown around a bus stop opposite and run all the way down to the water.
Police stopped traffic entering a winding track leading up to a hill at the rear of the house, while investigators combed an expanse of nearby forest.
But Police Scotland confirmed Alesha's body was discovered by a member of the public in woodland on the site of the abandoned Kyles of Bute Hydropathic Hotel, which was demolished in the 1970s.
The area where her body was found is heavily overgrown and the woodland is around a 20 minute walk away.
Tributes have flooded in for Alesha from devastated friends and family – including her uncle who said she was "taken from us far too soon".
CJ MacPhail wrote: “I have been up all night thinking of how to word this as I have received many messages in the last 20 hours or so.
“As some of yous already may know i was informed yesterday that my beautiful neice was taken from us far to soon.
“I would like to thank everyone for their kind messages thought really dont know what to say as i cant quite process it all at this time though.
“Alesha was the most wonderful niece i could have asked for she always brought happiness to my day and anyone she was around.”
Stunned locals on the island, which has a tiny community of around 7,500 people, have also paid tribute to the tragic youngster.
One resident said: "The whole of the Island of Bute is in complete shock.
"Alesha's father Robert is just a brilliant guy and worshipped the ground she walked on. They were happy together. This doesn't happen here.
"The whole community will stand together I know that. That is what the island is like."
Another neighbour added: "I knew Alesha. She would never leave the house on her own. She has blonde hair and blue eyes. She was very bright, very intelligent, funny — a nice wee girl.
"She couldn’t have been a nicer child and so beautiful. She couldn’t have been kinder. I was always glad to meet her when she was with her grandma.
"She was lovely — a wee doll. She used to go to the wee tea parties in town with another girl.”
The headteacher of Alesha's school, Chapelside Primary in Airdrie, has released an emotional statement paying tribute.
Wendy Davie, said: "Alesha started with us in August 2016 and had just finished Primary 2.
"She loved being at school and enjoyed all aspects of literacy, in particular writing. She was such a perfectionist in her handwriting and was very proud of her work.
"Alesha was very friendly and she welcomed everyone first thing in the morning at breakfast club. She was a very considerate child who loved being part of a group and she was popular with all the other children and was a smiley and happy young girl."
Detective Superintendent Stuart Houston of Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Teams said: “We are trying to establish when Alesha was last seen alive and trying to develop a timeline.
“This is a rare incident because a child has died and been found in public. We are speaking to all family to capture as much information as possible.
“We have specially trained officers dealing with the family.”
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