Caroline Graham murder investigation: search activity suspended

November 6, 2012

Serious Crime Branch detectives investigating the murder of Newry woman, Caroline Graham, who disappeared in Portadown in 1989, have suspended the latest phase of search activity at premises in Carleton Street, with nothing of significance having been found.  Police will now review the situation to determine a way forward, but say the key to recovering her remains and catching her killer lies with a small group of local people.

Renewed search activity had been conducted in the Carleton Street area of the town over the past number of weeks for the remains of 19-year-old Caroline who lived in nearby Hanover Street with her boyfriend.

Areas of waste ground and parts of premises, including a well, were searched. A range of specialist resources has been deployed including body recovery dogs, probes, scanners, structural engineers and an underwater search team.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Gary Crawford, said:

“We believe there is more than one person who knows exactly where Caroline is buried. They are holding a very dark secret. We need them to come forward and tell us exactly what they know.

“Whoever is responsible for Caroline’s murder has spoken to people and they know exactly what has happened to Caroline.”

DCI Crawford said he was neither more confident nor less confident of finding Caroline’s remains than he was when searching began last month. He thanked members of the public for their responses to previous appeals, in particular for the co-operation of a business in one property where police have been working.

He reiterated the importance of new information saying:

“I would ask everyone to think about what is at stake here. We are working to recover a young woman’s remains so that her family can give her a Christian burial and her killer can be brought to justice.

“We really need to know what building work was being done in April 1989 in Carleton Street. We believe Caroline’s body was dumped in an existing hole, that it was covered over and possibly later topped with concrete.

“Even if you think that what you know is only rumour or chat, we need to hear it. Please don’t assume that police know. Don’t think your information is not relevant or significant – it might be. Let us decide.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives on 07585 228283.