Detectives investigating the murder of schoolgirl Moira Anderson are due to search a canal 60 years on from her disappearance.

The 11-year-old was last seen on February 23, 1957, on board a bus driven by convicted paedophile Alexander Gartshore, who died in 2006.

In 2015, police said Gartshore would have been indicted for the youngster's murder if he was still alive.

Moira's sister Janet Hart has welcomed the new police search, which comes after an unsuccessful exhumation of Old Monkland Cemetery in Coatbridge in 2013.

Ms Hart said: "My mother kept up hoping that one day she would be found.

"I'm very hopeful. It's the most hopeful I've ever been in 60 years.

"I'm sad that my parents never got to this point. I still have nightmares about what happened to her."

She added: "What we didn't get was a chance to say is goodbye to Moira. We've been denied that chance.

"If we find Moira's remains, then at least we'll be able to have the proper Christian funeral that she so deserves."

Police investigating the case are due to search part of Monkland Canal next month.

At the time of the original inquiry, detectives failed to follow up on a sighting of a man seen carrying a large sack towards a stretch of the water on the day the schoolgirl disappeared.

Police believe the description of the man is judged to be a good match for Gartshore.

Moira's relatives previously gained a court order to allow them to exhume a grave in Old Monkland Cemetery, where they believe the killer may have concealed her body.

Police, working alongside Dundee University forensic anthropologist Dame Professor Sue Black, undertook the work but did not find anything linked to the missing girl.

Gartshore's daughter, Sandra Brown, has believed her father was responsible for the killing for years.

He was questioned by officers in 1992 but denied any involvement and charges were never brought.