Fears were today growing for missing Scottish boy Mikaeel Kular two nights since he disappeared in the night from his bedroom.
Mikaeel Kular, aged three, was last seen by his mother when he was put to bed at around 9pm on Wednesday night.
But she raised the alarm after realising he was missing from home in Edinburgh at 7.15am yesterday.
The youngster lives at the property in Ferry Gait Crescent in the Drylaw area of the city with his mother and four siblings, including his twin sister.
Scores of police officers were scouring the area today, some with sniffer dogs, and the force helicopter was also deployed.
Hundreds of volunteers also joined the increasingly desperate search for missing boy.
Residents assembled at the North Neighbourhood Centre in West Pilton Gardens to organise search teams.
Tracy Stirling, 36, a housewife and mum-of-two, joined the search with her three-year-old son Dylan. She said: “It’s really sad. We just need to do something, anything.
“I’m taking my wee boy to search and we’ll do our best.
“I’m not the only one with kids around here. People have taken their kids out of nursery and school to help and be part of it.
“We need to show the kids that the streets can be dangerous and this sort of thing can really happen.
“We’re just going to walk about the area to see if we can get something — even just a clue.
“Everybody’s come together to try and find this wee boy. It’s been more than 24 hours and it’s freezing cold.”
Jordan Reid, 18, a volunteer with Save The Children, from South Queensferry, said: “I’m here on behalf of Save the Children to look for this missing three-year-old boy as searches continue.
“Personally, me and the members of my family are really concerned about this wee boy and we hope we get him found soon.
“We are taking part in a massive search party to find him.
“We cannot tell what the outcome is going to be. It is too soon to say.
“With the amount of people and great support from the local and wider community we’ll hopefully find some links to the disappearance.”
MSP Colin Keir, who represents Edinburgh West, the constituency where Mikaeel and his family live, said: “The community spirit has just been sensational.
“I think it’s astounded everybody that there has been such an incredible support locally.
“This is such an unusual occurrence. I don’t think we’ve ever had a situation like this before with these circumstances.
“Everybody just wants to see the wee lad safe and sound.
“Nobody can imagine what the family must be going through at this time.
“Hopefully there will be a resolution at the end of this.”
James McNeil, 47, a council worker and father-of-four, said: “I’m here to assist with the search. It’s human nature I suppose. I’m a family man and have four kids myself.
“The search shows that people come together when there’s a need. We want the best possible outcome.
“People are searching everywhere they can. We’ve been given local areas to search gardens and sheds — anywhere a toddler could have got himself into.”
Neighbours today spoke of their shock at the disappearance.
Jackie Brownlee, 29, a mother-of-one, who lives across the road, said: “I’m just shocked. You wouldn’t expect anything like this to happen around here.
“We’ve organised a search party with a couple of neighbours to go around the area and look for the boy.
“We would expect someone would have done the same, if one of our children went missing.
“The more people look the better. I hope we find him.
“It’s a very good and quiet area — very family-orientated.
“The mum stays alone with her four children.
“I don’t know what their family history is like, but I’ve not seen the father for a couple of months.
“The doors are heavy and I don’t think he could have got out by himself.”
Mikaeel is described as three foot tall and possibly wearing a beige hooded jacket, brown shoes and nightwear.
Neighbour Nicola Garrick described Mikaeel as a “happy wee boy”.
She added: “He has always got a smile on his face.
“He’s a lovely wee boy and it is a shock to see that he is missing.
“[Mikaeel's mother] is a quiet lady but she obviously protects the kids from the outside because they don’t get out very often.”
Officers have urged anyone with information on his whereabouts or who think they may have seen them to contact them.
Richard Holzman (corr), who lives in a neighbouring street Ferry Gait Drive, said: “I first noticed police at around 7.45am, there’s been less of a presence since then.
“I wasn’t sure what was going on at first but then I heard a boy had gone missing.
“There were sniffer dogs in the area as well going through the bushes.
“I hope he gets found.”
Frank Arthur, 72, a retired project manager who lives in the flat above the Kular family, said: “I’ve seen the little lad and his sister playing around downstairs in the stairwell. They don’t seem to go out a lot.
“Whenever I’ve seen the family it was just the mum and the kids.
“I don’t think the boy could have got out by himself. It’s quite a heavy door.
“You push a button and then it whistles so you open the door.
“It’s quite a lot for a three-year-old, to be pulling the door open.”
Residents in the area have also gathered to help with the search operation.
A post was put on a Tenants and Residents in Muirhouse Facebook page calling for people to meet at North Edinburgh Arts Centre in the area.
Dozens of residents gathered at midday, guided by officers who assisted them as they became involved in the search.
Police Scotland can be contacted on 101 or, if you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 500 111.