A WOMAN who heard a scream and saw footprints in the snow could hold vital clues to the 61-year-old mystery of Moira Anderson’s disappearance.

The schoolgirl, 11, vanished in 1957 after popping out to buy a birthday card for her mother. Her disappearance remains one of the longest-running mysteries in Scottish criminal history.

Detectives from Police Scotland’s Cold Case Unit believe the woman who heard a scream, who now lives in France, is a credible witness.

She was walking to a farm-house where she was lodging on the edge of Coatbridge when she heard a scream. In the snow she spotted footprints, but a couple in the farmhouse knew nothing about them.

The woman, in her late teens at the time, still suffers nightmares about the incident. She has now given a statement to police, at least 15 years after she contacted Sandra Brown, daughter of convicted paedophile Alexander Gartshore.

Friday will be the 61st anniversary of the 11-year-old Coatbridge schoolgirl’s disappearance on February 23, 1957.

Sandra Brown, the daughter of her suspected killer who has campaigned to find her body, believes two people could help crack the case. One is a conductress believed to have been on the bus where Moira was last seen and the other is the expat who has lived most of her life in France.

The Crown Office has indicated Gartshore would have been charged with Moira’s murder were he still alive.

Sandra wrote a book blaming her father for Moira’s disappearance and later received a letter from the woman now living in France.

Ms Brown said: “She told me she came off the bus in the town centre and walked back to the farmhouse, which was owned by a family friend. The road she had to walk along turns into a farm track and is very isolated. She heard a scream and then saw footprints, which she didn’t understand because no one would be on this lonely farm track late at night. in the snow. She told the couple in the farmhouse, but felt they dismissed her concerns even though she thought it should have been reported to the police.She told me she’s never understood why they were so reluctant.”

DS Pat Campbell said: “The investigation is still very much alive and Moira’s family has been kept updated. Anyone with information on the case should contact their local police office.”