Appeal for news of woman who disappeared 41 years ago

Duncan Mary missing

Do you remember Mary Duncan, who went missing from her home in Alexandria more than 40 years ago?

By Lucy Ashton

The three sisters of a young woman who went missing 41 years ago are appealing for any information that could help find her or what happened to her.

Mary Duncan disappeared from her home in West Dunbartonshire in 1976, when she was 17 years old. She was last seen leaving her home in Alexandria on 19 March that year, after telling her family she was going to meet a friend, but never returned.

Mary had become pregnant at the age of 15 and gave birth to a baby girl, Laura Duncan, on 17 February 1975. She did not take her daughter with her when she disappeared and baby Laura died of natural causes on 25 October 1976.

Extensive investigations have been carried out in an attempt to establish any information regarding Mary’s whereabouts, however no trace of her has been found.

Earlier today, Monday, 9 July 2018, Mary’s sisters Debbie, Marion and Mandy made an appeal to the media and the community of Alexandria for information at Dumbarton Police Station.

They were joined by Detective Superintendent Calum Young, who said:  “At the age of 17, Mary was a devoted mother to a baby girl called Laura. Her family say Mary absolutely adored her daughter and that her disappearance, and leaving Laura behind, was completely out of character.

“Mary left home with no money and she has never claimed benefits, paid tax or national insurance. Her family strongly doubt that she would have had the means or life skills to start a new life and live independently.

“Whilst there is no evidence to suggest that Mary came to any harm, due to the fact that she has not been seen or heard from in 41 years, we can’t rule this out.

“Mary’s family were left completely devastated by her disappearance, a pain which lives with them to this day, and it is vital that we get to the bottom of what happened to their sister and provide them with some closure.

“I would ask anyone who knew Mary or her family in the years before her disappearance to please get in touch to help us piece together the details of her life around the time she went missing. No matter how insignificant you think your help may be, let us be the judge of that, because even the slightest detail could be important. Even if you spoke to the police back in 1976, there’s been a huge passage of time and we would like to speak to you again.

“Some of our enquiries have focussed on the Vale of Leven Hospital and I would appeal to anyone who worked there in 1976 to come forward as they may be able to assist with our investigation.

“I believe the answer to what happened to Mary lies within the local community and it is very possible that someone does have information and is concerned about coming forward now because they should have contacted the police 41 years ago. If anyone is in this situation, please don’t be concerned about that. The important thing is that you come forward now and tell us what you know.

“Mary’s family have waited long enough for answers – please, if you have any information at all, contact Dumbarton Police Station via 101.”

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