The mother of missing three-year-old Mikaeel Kular has reportedly been detained by police after a child's body was discovered.
Officers searching for the missing Edinburgh youngster found a body in Fife shortly before midnight, it was announced today.
It was reported by Sky News and other news organisations that the person detained was Mikaeel's mother, named locally as Rosdeep Kular, 33, though police have not confirmed this.
Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said police "strongly believe" the body to be that of Mikaeel and that his family had been informed of the discovery.
Visibly moved, Mr Graham told a press conference: "The investigation into the disappearance of Mikaeel Kular has been wide ranging and fast moving.
"As a result of these inquiries I can confirm that we have recovered the body of a young boy in Fife shortly before midnight. We have informed the family and the investigation continues.
"A person has been detained in connection with the death.
"I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has shown such a fantastic response to the incident in terms of assisting the police with searches and in terms of our appeals for information and coming forward to assist with information.
"Without such vital assistance the police cannot do their job assisting those who live and work in our communities.
"As a result of this development clearly there will now be no requirement for any further help in relation to searches in the Drylaw area."
Mikaeel was last seen on Wednesday on Wednesday night when his mother put him to bed at their home in Ferry Gait Crescent at 9pm. She reported him missing after going to check on him at 7.15am the following day and finding he wasn't there.
The little boy, who had two sisters and two brothers, usually slept in the same room as his twin sister but was alone on Wednesday night.
His jacket and shoes were missing and police were looking into whether he might have left of his own accord.
Hundreds of volunteers from the local community joined emergency services in the search for the missing boy.
The body was found in Fife, a region north of Edinburgh across the Firth of Forth, but police have not disclosed exactly where the discovery was made.
The body is being left in situ for forensic and scenes-of-crime officers to carry out investigations, Sky News said, and would not be removed before morning.
ITV News said Mikaeel's family lived in Kircaldy in Fife before moving to Ferry Gait Crescent.
Forensics officers were yesterday carrying out a search of the family home.
Police also investigated a potential sighting of Mikaeel after a child matching his description was spotted in West Pilton Gardens, Edinburgh, at around 8.30am. The sighting was not confirmed as being Mikaeel.
It also emerged yesterday that he had not been seen at nursery since the Christmas break because he had been ill.
Hundreds of police officers were involved in searches, and were joined by specialist search teams, mounted officers, dogs, other emergency services and local organisations.
More than 200 volunteers, from firefighters to mothers wheeling prams, helped in widespread searches, with some scouring the foreshore of nearby Cramond.
Denise Fergus, the mother of James Bulger, the two-year-old who was murdered in Liverpool in 1993, tweeted her condolences.
She said on Twitter: " My heart is aching for that poor boy Mikaeel Kular brings it all back so sad."
Sky News reported that a house in Kirkcaldy in Fife belonging to Mikaeel's aunt, the sister of his mother, had been sealed off by police during the night and that a "major operation" is under way there.
It said woodland around the house had also been taped off to prevent access and forensics officers had been at the scene.
The area was close to a home where Mikaeel's family previously lived and is about 40 minutes from Edinburgh, it was claimed.
A police cordon has been set up around a bungalow in Dunvegan Avenue in Kirkcaldy, with about a dozen officers posted in the leafy street.
An area of woodland to the rear and near the side of the property appears to be the focus of attention.
A second cordon has been strung around the woods, with access to a private road around the back blocked by police.
The cordoned-off house is on a slight hill in the quiet estate on the west edge of Kirkcaldy.
A single stuffed toy, a white teddy bear, has been left.
Residents were shocked to see the police presence when they woke this morning.
Olga Park, a retired nurse who lives opposite, said she saw Mikaeel's mother arrive at the bungalow on either Tuesday or Wednesday morning.
Rosdeep had lived there with her sister when she had her twins, Mrs Park said.
"I'm just absolutely shocked about what's happened," she said.
"The fact he's just a three-year-old boy is just terrible. The poor wee thing."
Mrs Park, who has lived in the area for 30 years, said she knew the immediate neighbours but not the Kular family.
Michael Woods, 53, who lives nearby at Floors Place, said the area behind the heavily wooded area to the rear of the bungalow is popular with dog walkers and families.
He had been following the developing police investigation but was surprised to find officers at the end of his street.
"First it was in Edinburgh, then they said Fife, then Kirkcaldy and now it's here almost on my doorstep. It's unsettling," he said.
Mr Woods, who was out doing his recycling at a nearby communal bin area, said: "When I heard it was here I just about jumped off my chair."
Colin Keir, a Member of the Scottish Parliament, said the community was now united in grief.
"It has been a huge bringing together of the community. In my time as a politician I have never experienced such a thing. This is completely unprecedented and unfortunately it has ended in such a tragedy," he told Sky News.
"A three year-old child should not go missing, they should be safe in their home.
"There was a number of us yesterday, along with several hundred of us who walked along the promenade checking and you could feel the concern. You had mothers and their babies in prams as part of this line as well as people up on the hill, the fire service, the police.
"It has been a huge bringing together of the community. In my time as a politician I have never experienced such a thing. This is completely unprecedented and unfortunately it has ended in such a tragedy."