ALESHA MacPhail’s devastated mum has spoken out for the first time to thank island residents for their support after her daughter’s death.
Georgina Lochrane, who also goes by the name Genie, took to a local Facebook group for locals on the Isle of Bute to reach out to them following her daughter’s death.
The devastated mum said Alesha would be “proud” of what they had done for her and apologised for not being able to make the vigil the islanders organised Alesha on Sunday night.
The vigil attracted hundreds of mourners to Rothesay’s Guildford Square, where mourners held candles and left tributes to the youngster.
It is the first time Genie has spoken out since her daughter was found dead in a woodland area near to her Grandmother’s house.
Taking to the Isle of Bute Facebook page, Genie Lochrance wrote: “I have finally built up the courage to write this. I would like to thank each and every single one of yous of the Isle of Bute for everything you’s have done for mine and Robert’s darling daughter.
“She will be looking down with that big massive glowing smile of hers and be so proud for everything everyone has and will continue to do for her, myself, dad, grandparents and the rest of the people who loved our girl dearly.
“I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Last night was beautiful. I am sorry I could not attend. Thank you once again.”
Genie added in the comments: “Thank you for your kind words. I will stand tall because this is what Alesha would want.
“She always told me she would be strong like me when she got bigger and what a strong little girl she is. I have the full world behind me helping me be strong and fight. Thank you.”
Locals and residents were quick to reply to the heartbreaking post.
Elaine Newlands wrote: “Sending you lots of strength. Thinking of you all.”
Catherine Gillies added: “Thoughts and prayers with you Genie.”
Nicole Booth wrote: “As a mum myself I can’t imagine what you must be going through just now. Every time I saw Alesha she was always a happy smiley little girl. I’m so sorry she has been taken away from you.”
Helen Dixon commented: “Sending you all much love and hugs in abundance.”
While Fiona Clark wrote: “I cannot comprehend your pain. May there be some comfort in knowing the thoughts, wishes and love that there is for you and your little girl.”
A 16-year-old boy has since appeared in court charged with Alesha’s rape and murder.
The teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, made no plea during a private appearance at Greenock Sheriff Court on Friday.