Transgender butcher charged in connection with disappearance of 11-year-old girl
A transgender butcher was charged in connection with the disappearance of an 11-year-old girl.
Andrew George Miller, who was also known locally as Amy, is due to appear at Selkirk Sheriff Court on Thursday after his arrest on Monday night.
The butchers shop that was run by the suspect, Millers of Melrose, was covered in wooden boards as police guarded the business, which Miller announced he was closing at the start of the year.
A major search operation including mountain rescue teams and police divers was launched following the disappearance of the child from Galashiels town centre on Sunday evening.
After more than a day she was discovered “safe and well”, police said, with an investigation centering on a property in Gattonside, around three miles from where she had last been seen.
Police referred to Miller, who locals said had presented themselves as female for several years, as a “53-year-old man”, in contrast to Nicola Sturgeon’s push to introduce sex self-identification laws to Scotland.
Private court hearing
Details of the charges he faces are expected to be revealed on Thursday following a private court hearing. The court will also decide whether to bail Miller or remand him in custody.
Announcing that Miller had been charged in the early hours of Wednesday, Chief Superintendent Catriona Paton, Lothians and Scottish Borders commander, said: “I want to thank the public for their huge effort and assistance during this incident.
“The people of Galashiels really came together and supported each other, the emergency services and search teams.
“We believe this incident to be contained and enquiries into the circumstances are ongoing.
“There will be increased high visibility patrols in the streets to provide reassurance and advice to the public, and anyone with concerns can speak to an officer at any time.”
Workers fixed wooden panels to the butchers shop on Melrose High Street, which Miller promoted as “Amy” during a nationwide campaign to promote local businesses in 2020.
Among the items displayed in the window of the shop was a framed picture of JK Rowling, an outspoken voice on gender issues, after the business was mentioned in one of her books.
Reported missing on Sunday
Millers of Melrose was briefly mentioned in the novel by Robert Galbraith, the Harry Potter author’s pseudonym, with the lead character visiting it to buy some venison pies.
The child was located at a property at around 9:30pm on Monday evening, after going missing at around 5:45pm the previous day.
She was reported missing at 8:15pm on the Sunday with the disappearance leading to a frantic search. Police admitted they were very concerned for the welfare of the child before she was found.
Millers of Melrose has been in the suspect’s family for four generations, before Miller announced it would be closing permanently at the start of the year.
He had previously spoken out in favour of Nicola Sturgeon’s plan to reform gender laws to make it easier for Scots to change their legal sex, after they were blocked by the UK Government last month.