POLICE are investigating claims a missing Russian student was spotted in a tiny village on the Isle of Mull.
The mystery woman fitted the description of Yulia Solodyankina, spoke with a eastern European accent, and was lightly-dressed despite the chilly Hebridean weather.
The possible sighting happened on Friday in Fionnphort, in the Ross of Mull, on the south-west of the island.
Police have shown pictures of Yulia, 22, who disappeared from her Edinburgh home on June 7, to villagers.
Yulia, who had just finished a physics degree at Edinburgh University, was last seen that day on CCTV at Buchanan Street Bus Station in Glasgow.
Police Scotland have said they believe she may have travelled from there to the Highlands and Islands.
A Facebook user posted on the “Yulia is missing” page over the weekend saying that “his friend believes she spoke to a young woman that could have been Yulia”.
He added that his friend said “she fitted the physical description of Yulia, wearing similar clothes and carrying a similar backpack”.
He added: “The young woman spoke with an eastern European accent.”
His friend believed that she appeared to be fine but did not appear to be dressed appropriately for the chilly weather on the island that day.
Yesterday (wed), a village resident, who asked not to be named, said: “On Saturday night the local police woman came around the guest houses with a photo of a young woman, who I recognised as Yulia, asking if we had her staying with us.”
She added: “It’s not a big town though, there’s about 45 houses here and a couple of guesthouses. But it is a very busy little place as it’s the ferry port for Iona so is popular with tourists and travellers.”
Although the town only has around 70 residents, it is a popular tourist destination particularly during the summer months.
A spokesman for Police Scotland confirmed that they received a call about the sighting at Fionnphort, on the Isle of Mull on Friday and were pursuing the lead along with other enquiries.
He added: “ I can confirm that they (investigators) have received a strong response over the weekend and have received several calls from all over the highlands.”
He added: “We have had calls from Inverness, Kyle of Lochalsh, Lochgoilhead, Fort William and the Isle of Mull.”
It was revealed at the weekend that Yulia disappeared a day after discovering she had failed to get an honours degree.
At her graduation ceremony on July 1, her name was among those students given a Bachelor of Science degree instead.
Her boyfriend, Antoine Dao, 21, said she had been very stressed during the exams.