HeadLine: HOW CAN I GO ON NOW MY POOR WEE SAM HAS GONE
Daily Record, 29/10/1997, p4
by Shaun Milne and Charles Beaton
The distraught husband of suicide mum Morag Nicolson last night sobbed: “My whole world has collapsed.”
Peter Nicolson feared the worst when Morag vanished with daughter Samantha 10 days ago.
Yesterday, he got the news he’d been dreading – his wife and daughter were dead.
Morag, who’d been suffering post-natal depression, said she was off to buy cigarettes and the Sunday papers.
But she drove into the Clyde, killing herself and seven-year-old Samantha.
Police divers found the blue Maestro on the bottom yesterday morning – and hours later completed the grim task of bringing the bodies to the surface.
Peter said: “I am just devastated. My poor little Samantha … I just don’t know what to say or do.”
He and his two little boys, Peter, three, and eight-month-old Jack, were being comforted by relatives.
The heartbroken dad said: “Somehow I will have to find the strength to go on for the sake of my sons.”
Peter was still in bed when Morag, 32, left their home in Bracken Road, Port Glasgow, Renfrewshire, on October 19.
Before she left, she told Peter: “I love you.”
He said: “Morag was feeling a bit down, but she said it wasn’t anything to worry about.
“However when she left me in bed that Sunday and said `I love you’ I felt there was something not quite right.
“It seemed somehow like a last goodbye.”
Peter, 32, also thought back to their last big day out together.
He said: “I will never forget October 7 – it was Samanatha’s seventh birthday.
“My Morag was so happy. She told me, `Let’s give her a right treat.’
“So we got her all dressed up and the three of us went out for a slap- up meal and took in a movie.
“We even took Samantha to a fancy shop and bought her a gold ring. She thought it was the best present she ever had.
“I have never seen Morag in such great form.
“There was no real warning sign that she was ill.”
Morag’s sister, Ann Bratton, 26, flew 4000 miles from her home in Canada when she heard about the mum- of-three’s disappearance.
Yesterday, she said: “We are completely devastated.”
The nationwide hunt for Morag and Samantha started within 24 hours of their disappearance.
Police were in touch with relatives across Scotland and England and a helicopter was brought in to join the search.
But just after 10am yesterday, the hunt was called off.
Police divers searching the Clyde found a car in the water behind a council depot in Port Glasgow.
They established it was the Nicolsons’ car – and there were two bodies inside.
The area was cordoned off and officers broke the tragic news to the Nicolson family.
After the bodies were recovered, a line was attached to the sunken car and a crane brought it to the surface.
Peter, his sons and sister-in-law were due to make an emotional plea to Morag to come home today.
Detectives had organised a news conference as part of their search for the missing mum and daughter.
But a police spokeswoman said last night: “We can confirm that the body of a female and a child were recovered during an operation in Port Glasgow earlier today.”