Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Police search again for young woman

Caroline Graham, whose body police are digging for after she was believed to be murdered more than 20 years ago (PSNI/PA)
Police search an area of waste ground in Portadown, Co Armagh, for the remains of Caroline Graham

Police who dug up wasteground searching for the remains of a teenager murdered more than 20 years ago are acting on new information, a detective has revealed.

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Crawford, who is leading the investigation into the death of Caroline Graham, 19, is using scanning equipment and sniffer dogs to try to locate her remains.

"We have a number of pieces of reliable information that suggest Caroline's remains could be in the vicinity and with the advances in science and technology, we hope to establish if that is the case.

"A number of members of the public have contacted us since we renewed the inquiry in August. We believe there are individuals or an individual in the Portadown area who know exactly what has happened to Caroline. We are asking them to examine their conscience."

Caroline went missing in April 1989. Her body has never been found.

The search is concentrated on an area of wasteground at Carleton Street, Portadown close to where Caroline shared a home with her boyfriend before her disappearance. It is understood that the 19-year-old, originally from Newry, was living in Portadown for two years.

Dozens of officers from the PSNI's serious crime branch are scouring an area the size of a small football pitch. The ground is being cleared before probes are inserted as deep as five metres into the earth to try to determine if there are any human remains. The technique has never been used in Northern Ireland.

Mr Crawford said: "We will have a range of assets on site to assist us in what could be a protracted operation. These will include a body recovery dog, earth moving machinery and specialist scanning equipment.

"Our search advisers will be working with other specialists from a variety of disciplines to determine as definitively as possible whether Caroline's remains are buried at this location.

"Police have searched this site previously but science and technology have advanced in recent years to such an extent that we believe it is important to deploy the latest technology and resources in this case."

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