Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Caroline Graham: Special dogs join hunt for body of teen murdered 25 years ago

Specially trained victim recovery dogs, which can identify traces of human remains, are being used in a new search for Caroline Graham, who disappeared in March 1989
Specially trained victim recovery dogs, which can identify traces of human remains, are being used in a new search for Caroline Graham, who disappeared in March 1989
Caroline Graham, who disappeared in March 1989

Specially trained dogs that can identify traces of human remains are being used in the police hunt for a Portadown teenager murdered 25 years ago.

PSNI searches of a property where 19-year-old Caroline Graham lived with her boyfriend when she disappeared in 1989 were due to continue in Portadown today.

Yesterday forensic officers could be seen examining a sofa believed to have been removed from the Hanover Street property by police.

Other officers, assisted by sniffer dogs, concentrated their searches along an alleyway close to the house.

Detectives have also reissued an appeal for two off-duty soldiers who are believed to have given Caroline (right) a lift the night before she disappeared to come forward.

Police took the decision to launch yesterday's search at the property after new information about the teenager's disappearance was received.

Police said that the property's current owner is not involved in the probe.

Caroline vanished without a trace at the end of March 1989. She 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.

The detective in charge of the murder investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery, said he has information that suggests Caroline returned to Hanover Street to get some clothes, but has not been seen since.

"I believe she was murdered some time later and that her remains are somewhere in Portadown," Mr Montgomery said.

He said he also believed that more than one person knows where Caroline is buried.

Mr Montgomery added: "We need them to come forward and tell us exactly what they know. Whoever is responsible for Caroline's murder may have spoken to people and they may know exactly what has happened to Caroline.

"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?"

The detective said that six weeks ago he appealed to two men, possibly off-duty soldiers, who gave Caroline a lift in a black Ford XR3i that night to come forward.

He said that although he was not treating them as suspects, they had yet to make contact.

Caroline Graham, who disappeared in March 1989
Caroline Graham, who disappeared in March 1989

"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?" Mr Montgomery said.

Police officers have carried out a number of searches in the Portadown area over the years, but Caroline's body has not yet been found.

Anyone with information about Caroline's murder or where she is buried is asked to contact detectives on 028 9070 0727 or 075 8522 8283.

Background

When Caroline Graham vanished in 1989 aged 19, she was living in Portadown with her boyfriend at an address in Hanover Street. Following new information in 2012 police carried out extensive searches near Hanover Street, in the Carleton Street area. Areas of waste ground and a well were searched by a specialist police team. But the search was suspended as nothing of significance was found. A new search of a house was launched yesterday after police received new information.

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