Father raises safety concerns after 4-year-old goes missing from Peterhead nursery

Eliza Morrice
Eliza Morrice

The father of a four-year-old girl who disappeared from her Peterhead nursery school yesterday afternoon has hit out at the council for not doing enough to ensure their child's safety.

Eliza Morrice walked out of Central School Nursery yesterday afternoon at approximately 1.30 pm and was found by a member of the public walking around King Street.

Gary Morrice, Eliza father, has raised concerns over how his daughter was able to walk out of the nursery and also claimed that he and his wife were lied to over how long their daughter was missing.

Mr Morrice said: "They contacted us and told us she had only been gone for ten minutes but she'd actually been gone for God knows how long."

Eliza's father said the police informed them that his daughter had been reported missing around 1.30 pm but that that were not contacted until 2.20 pm - almost an hour later.

Mr Morrice said: "The school itself has actually lied about the time period she was gone.

"Either they don't know when she was gone or the Head Teacher had been misinformed."

Mr Morrice has blamed security measures at the school which allowed his daughter to wander out on her own.

He said: "It's a joke that this has happened - the school should have had the proper security in place."

Eliza was found by a member of the public, Arlene Mckenzie, walking King Street having already crossed a road.

Mr Morrice said: "Somebody wasn't watching what they were doing and she got out of school."

"She had been wandering around King Street and she had crossed a a road causing a car to brake.

"A girl seen it and jumped out her car and spoke to her [Eliza]."

The father said that Eliza was then taken to Buchan House where there was a further mix-up in identifying his daughter as the girl who was missing from Central School Nursery.

Mr Morrice claims Eliza was initially identified as her sister as this was the name Eliza gave.

Director of Education and Children’s Services, Maria Walker, said: “On Wednesday afternoon it was discovered that one of the children had left the building at Peterhead Central School although she was quickly found safe and well.

“Staff had immediately realised she was not with the main group and the police notified as soon as the school had been searched.

“The security of our children is our highest priority and this incident has left staff understandably shaken.

“We are extremely sorry for the upset this has caused the family and we are currently investigating how this incident occurred.”