Chief suspect in Caroline Graham murder denies involvement

November 26, 2018

A Portadown man who has been arrested several times by police in connection with the disappearance and murder of a Newry teenager almost 30 years ago, has insisted he does not know what happened to the 19 year old. 

Police believe Caroline Graham, who disappeared in Portadown in 1989, was murdered.  Originally from Newry, the teenager had been living between a hostel and an address at Hanover Street in the Portadown area for two years before her disappearance. 

Caroline had been on a night out in Banbridge with a girlfriend on the night she disappeared.  She is believed to have spent part of the night with her friend in a hostel in Portadown, and later went to a house in Hanover Street to collect some things. Police believe she was murdered some time later.

In August 2012, police launched a murder inquiry and in 2014, police carried out further searches for Caroline’s body in Portadown using sniffer dogs, but found nothing. At that time, officers said they believed her remains were “somewhere in Portadown.”

Speaking to the BBC for the first time about the investigation, the chief suspect, who is in his late fifties, said while he knew the teenager in 1989, he does not know what happened to her and added, “there is no evidence to connect me to anything”.

The man revealed that he had been arrested and questioned five or six times and that police  “accused me of murdering her… I did not,” he told the BBC.

“I am telling you what I told them, I don’t know what happened to her.

“I am sick of the police coming to my door about this. There is no evidence to connect me to anything.

“If she was murdered like they say she was, where is the body?”

Each time the suspect has been questioned by the police, he has been released without charge.The man declined to record an interview with the BBC or make a  public appeal for information about Caroline’s murder.

He spoke out as the teenager’s heartbroken mother issued a fresh appeal for information about her daughter’s disappearance.

Caroline’s mother Barbara, who decided to make the fresh appeal after she survived serious illness earlier this year, said her own parents had passed away without knowing what happened to their granddaughter and she did not want the same thing to happen to her. 

The 65 year old said she “definitely” believes Caroline’s killer is “alive and well.” 

“They have had a good life for the past 30 years, while I have had a horrible life, and Caroline had no life. She’s not alive and hasn’t been all these years,” said Ms Graham.

“Someone, somewhere knows something.

“You just can’t go out and murder someone and no-one knows nothing.

“Someone has done something to her. For what reason I don’t know, but I would love to know.”

Mrs Graham appealed to anyone who knew Caroline, or what happened to her, to come forward and added that she was “not looking for a prosecution, I am just looking for her.”.

The grieving mum says she believes an inquest might help establish what happened to her daughter and added that she feels “Caroline has been forgotten.” 

“I can show her birth certificate, but I cannot show a death certificate.

“I need something to prove she is either alive or dead.”