24 May 2022

Two further arrests in connection to Jonathan Cairns murder

Two further arrests in connection to Jonathan Cairns murder

18-year-old Jonathan Cairns was murdered in 1999.

There have been two further arrests in connection to the 1999 murder of Co Derry teenager Jonathan Cairns.

Detectives investigating the case this morning (November 21, 1999) arrested a 51-year-old man in Limavady and a 43-year-old man in the Ballykelly area on suspicion of withholding information in relation to the murder. Both suspects have been taken to Coleraine PSNI Station for questioning.

Jonathan Cairns remains were found in a shallow grave at Loughermore Forest about five miles from his home, the day after after he was attacked as he returned home from a night out in the early hours of April 25, 1999. 

A 44-year-old woman arrested in the Dungiven area on Tuesday (November 19) on suspicion of murdering the teenager has been released on police bail pending further enquiries. 

Detective Inspector Adrian Brown said the teenager's family and friends "have suffered intolerable grief" and "deserve answers".

He appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

"I believe that people within the Ballykelly community have information that could assist my investigation.

"Some people were not prepared to come forward at the time for a variety of reasons but I am asking people to search their conscience and think again.

"Circumstances and loyalties may have changed over years and it is never too late to do the right thing."

The investigation into Mr Cairns' murder has involved more than 2,500 witnesses, statements from almost 900 people and 20 searches.

A man was jailed for helping to dispose of his body but no-one has ever been convicted of his murder.

In April the teenager's parents made a fresh appeal for information on the 20th anniversary of his death.

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