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Murdered Inverness mother and son – Renee MacRae and Andrew – went missing 47 years ago

By Andrew Dixon

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Andrew and Renee MacRae.
Andrew and Renee MacRae.

Police are continuing their efforts to locate the bodies of Renee and Andrew MacRae.

The mother and son left their home in Inverness on November 12, 1976 – 47 years ago.

Their BMW car was discovered on fire in a lay-by near Dalmagarry later that evening. Their bodies have never been found.

William MacDowell, then aged 80, was found guilty at the High Court in Inverness in September 2022 of the murders of his lover Renee (36) and their three-year-old son Andrew.

MacDowell died in February 2023.

William MacDowell.
William MacDowell.

Previously, Detective Chief Inspector Brian Geddes said: “Renee and Andrew’s family and friends waited decades for justice, which was served last year.

“However, their bodies have not been found and our investigation continues to explore all possible opportunities open to us to help answer that final, most important question in order to provide Renee and Andrew with the dignity they deserve.

“We continue to review the available evidence to identify any further areas of interest, while also considering whether there are any opportunities that modern technology could assist with in identifying possible deposition sites.

“This review includes considering any properties which may be linked to William MacDowell which he could have used, possibly a derelict building, an empty one or even an occupied one he had use of.

“The time scale would be the early to mid-1970s and we are hoping someone may remember seeing Renee MacRae’s BMW car in an area perhaps with MacDowell's company Volvo or the family white Range Rover.

"We are also considering possible sites where they may have met during their relationship, possible including the Blackfold area above Loch Ness, Inverfarigaig, and between Nairnside and Daviot.

“This case will never be considered resolved until we find Renee and Andrew. We owe it to the family and friends to make every effort to recover Renee and Andrew’s bodies and I would urge anyone who may be able to assist, no matter how small you may feel your information is, to come forward.”

Anyone who believes they can assist police should call 101 or email SCDHOLMESInverness@scotland.police.uk. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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