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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Man accused of killing girl, 17, dies in prison

A pensioner accused of murdering a missing teenage girl almost 50 years ago has died in prison – without ever standing trial.

Pat McAdam photo
Pat McAdam

Thomas Ross Young, 79, was accused of the murder of 17-year-old Pat McAdam who failed to return to her home in Dumfries after going on a shopping trip to Glasgow.

Despite his death, it has been revealed that the police investigation into the teenager’s disappearance is ongoing.

Pat was last seen leaving Annan in a lorry driven by Young, who was then living in Glasgow.

Following extensive investigations over the years Young made a brief appearance via video link from Peterhead Prison at Dumfries Sheriff Court in September 2007. He was already in prison for murdering Frances Barker in 1977 and was Scotland’s longest-serving prisoner.

He was accused of murdering teenager Pat on the B7020 Lochmaben to Annan Road, near Charlesfield Farm, by means unknown on February 19, 1967.

He was remanded in custody.

The 47-year-old mystery of the missing girl began with her failure to return from the shopping trip with her friend Hazel Campbell, from Annan, and it resulted in one of Scotland’s oldest missing person cases.

The vivacious teenager’s parents Matthew and Mary, who have both since died, suffered the heartbreak and strain of constant appeals and searches.

The two girls, who had gone to a party and stayed overnight in Glasgow, had hitched a lift on the old A74 road and Hazel was dropped off in Annan – but Pat never returned to her home 17 miles away. Her parents travelled hundreds of miles asking questions and searching roadways as they tried to trace their missing daughter.

In the weeks that followed police and volunteer searchers combed woods and riverbanks and at one stage even a clairvoyant was called – but no trace was found.

Then in 2004 the disappearance was reviewed by police and a dedicated team was set up to re-investigate the circumstances. This included interviews with many retired police officers who had worked on the original investigation and culminated in Young’s court appearance, but the case never came to trial.

A Crown Office spokesman said: “The procurator fiscal has received a report in connection with the death of a 79-year-old man on July 14.

“The investigation into the death, under the direction of the Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit, is ongoing.”

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