Murdered Amber Gibson 'was acting like any other 16-year-old'

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Image caption,
Amber Gibson had been reported missing last Friday

A teenage girl found murdered in South Lanarkshire was not doing anything different to any other 16-year-old on the night she went missing, police say.

Amber Gibson, also known as Niven, was reported missing in Hamilton on Friday.

Detectives said she left her home in the Hillhouse area at about 21:15 and was last seen in Cadzow Street around 21:55.

Her body was later discovered near Cadzow Glen in the town at about 10:10 on Sunday.

Police have described her death as "particularly tragic" and urged members of the public to help find the person responsible.

Det Supt Raymond Brown, from Police Scotland's major investigation team, said: "Amber's family are absolutely devastated, as would be expected.

"Amber was a 16-year-old girl out at 10 o'clock on a Friday night. There is nothing to suggest that she was doing anything different to any girl of that age."

Image caption,
The entrance to Cadzow Glen Park has been sealed off by police

Det Supt Brown said a key part of the investigation was to try and find out if Amber knew her attacker.

He said: "Our focus is to understand Amber's last movements so that we can provide answers for her loved ones.

"If we can fill the information from the time she left her home address up until the period she was found.

"We know Hamilton would have been busy at that time on Friday night.

"Anyone who was in the area - whether they were pedestrians, out shopping, out for the evening or even passing by in their car - if they saw Amber, come forward and provide us with any information of any sightings."

Large police presence

The Cadzow Glen park has been sealed off and there is a large police presence in the area.

Flowers have been laid at the entrance to the park. One tribute said: "To Amber, rest in peace. We will always think of you."

Police asked anyone with any information about the teenager's death or anyone who believes they saw her between Friday and Sunday to contact them.

Area Commander Ch Insp Briony Daye said: "There will continue to be an increased police presence in the area over the coming days and anyone with concerns can speak with local officers at any time."

Labour MSP Monica Lennon, who lives close to Amber's home, said local people were "shocked and understandably very concerned" by the murder.

'Unimaginable loss'

She added: "It's an absolute tragedy. My thoughts are very much with Amber's family and friends. Their loss is unimaginable. But they have the support of the whole community.

"Amber was just a normal girl, doing normal things, so it's worrying."

Ms Lennon said she would be taking part in a local plan to light a candle in Amber's memory at 21:50 on Wednesday.

She said: "People want to show that they care and that Amber's loss has been felt by the whole community. It's important Amber's family and friends feel supported and know that they're not alone at this time. "

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