Murdered teen’s mother in new plea for information

June 30, 2014

The mother of a Newry teenager who disappeared 25 years ago has joined with police to issue a fresh appeal for information on the whereabouts of her daughter’s remains.

Speaking after a police press conference on Thursday, Barbara Graham made an emotional plea for “closure” appealing for anyone with information on her daughter, Caroline, to come forward.

Newry-born Caroline was 19 and living with her boyfriend at Hanover Street in Portadown, when she disappeared in 1989.

Police reopened the investigation into her disappearance in August 2012 after a number of new lines of enquiry emerged. They deployed specialist resources to search areas of waste ground and parts of premises in Portadown but nothing of significance was found.

Last Tuesday a 76-year-old woman was arrested in connection with the case but later released without charge.

Making her emotional plea to find out where her daughter is buried, Mrs Graham said: “I have lived without Caroline for 25 years and the pain has been hard to bear. It is particularly difficult on anniversaries, birthdays and family times like Christmas.  We haven’t even had the chance to hold a funeral because Caroline’s body has not been recovered.

“The police tell me the investigation is continuing, but I would just like to appeal to anyone who knows anything to tell us. Please give us peace and lay Caroline to rest.”

The detective leading the investigation told the press conference that he believes her remains are “somewhere in Portadown” and that it was likely more than one person knows where she is buried.

New details about the police inquiry were also revealed during the press conference.

Det Insp Peter Montgomery said: “It was around Easter at the end of March 1989 and Caroline had been for a night out to the Coach [nightclub] in Banbridge with a girlfriend.

“She stayed part of the night with her friend in a hostel in Portadown, but was gone in the morning.

“I have information that Caroline returned to Hanover Street to get some clothes, but she has not been seen since. I believe she was murdered some time later and that her remains are somewhere in Portadown.”

The Detective Inspector said whoever was responsible for Caroline’s murder may have spoken to people and they may know exactly what has happened to her.

“I need to speak to anyone who saw Caroline at the Coach with her friend that night. Did you pick up Caroline and her friend and drop them off in Portadown?

“I also want to hear from anyone who has any information about Caroline’s murder and where her remains might be buried. Has anyone talked to you about her murder or where she is buried?”

He added that if anyone had concerns about giving evidence, they could speak to him to discuss the matter.

“The most important thing is for people to come forward – for Caroline, for her family and for justice,” the detective added.

Police can be contacted on 02890 700 727 or 07585 22 82 83.