Byline: Janice Burns firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR decades, Sandra Brown has fought to uncover the truth behind the death of schoolgirl Moira Anderson.
Sandra, the daughter of paedophile bus driver Alex Gartshore, is convinced her father killed 11-year-old Moira nearly 56 years ago.
And yesterday she watched as police finally opened the grave where she believes he hid the little girl's corpse.
A team of forensic EXPERTs opened a family lair containing eight bodies, one of them a friend of twisted Gartshore.
It is feared the sex killer buried. Moira in the lair days before his friend Sinclair Upton was interred there.
Sandra has spent the past six years battling to get the grave in Old Monkland Cemetery in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, opened up.
yesterday, she was at the graveside, despite having only just recovered from the norovirus winter vomiting bug. The strain of her years battling for the truth etched on her face, she vowed to remain at the cemetery until the bitter end.
Sandra, who lives in Edinburgh, said: "This is our last chance to find the truth and I pray for a successful conclusion.
"For the sake of Moira's family, I hope they find her and they can finally lay her to rest'
"I believe in my heart they will find her. The evidence we have only points in that direction.
"I am just relieved that this day has come and I am keeping everything crossed they find Moira. "Whatever happens, this will be the LAST ACT. There is no other avenue go down. If we fail to find Moira there in the next few days, I don't think we ever will."
Over the years, Sandra has become friends with Moira's sisters Janet Hart and Marjory Muir, who now abroad, and set up the Moira Anderson Foundation in her name.
She was awarded an OBE in 2006 her services to child protection through her work with the charity.
Last month, a sheriff granted Sandra and Moira's sisters. permission to exhume the lair, where eight members of the Upton family are buried.
Sinclair Upton died aged 80 shortly after Moira vanished on February 23, 1957. Moira never returned after being sent on an errand to the Co-op in Coatbridge her grandmother.
yesterday, under the cover of darkness and forensic tents, a team of specialists led by forensic anthropologist Professor Sue Black , of Dundee University, began digging the water-logged grave at 8am.
Professor Black refused to talk about the operation.
Chief Inspector Kenny McLeod said: 'There maybe no necessity to exhume all eight human remains but that does remain a possibility.
"The site does present significant problems and challenges, not only in terms of ground conditions but also record-keeping. As you can imagine, going back to 1908, it may not detail every person in the burial plot. …