Jonathan Cairns' parents hope that Facebook can help catch son's killers
The parents of a teenage boy murdered 16 years ago are putting their faith in a Facebook page which they hope will provide the missing link towards convicting the people responsible for killing their son.
The body of Jonathan Cairns (18) was found stripped and bound in a remote forest near Ballykelly village in April 1999, the day after he went missing following a night out.
His blood-soaked clothes were found on the steps of a school near the family home, but despite a huge police manhunt and a £30,000 reward no one was ever charged with his murder.
One local man was convicted for perverting the course of justice and sentenced to five years in prison, but the killer remains at large.
Raymond and Hazel Cairns hope a Facebook page called Justice for Jonathan Cairns, which attracted more than 3,000 'likes' less than 48 hours after it was set up, will help unlock the silence from those who know who murdered their son.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Cairns said they were now hoping the social media page set up by Jonathan's friends will provoke an attack of conscience from the people who continue to protect the killer or killers.
He said: "We know there are people still out there who know who murdered our son. We know it and the police know it, but we need them to come forward and do the right thing.
"We have had 16 years without Jonathan and in that time things have moved on, which is where we hope this Facebook page will help.
"We hope this will be a constant reminder to those who killed Jonathan of the evil they have done and that they should hand themselves in. Jonathan was serving his time to become an electrician, so by now he should have had a good job and maybe be married with a family.
"So much has been taken from him and from us and it is so hard for both of us to have to relive all the pain. It is not too late to come forward and give information to the police and there is still a reward for that information if it leads to a conviction.
"The people who killed our son should know that we will never stop looking for justice for Jonathan and we will do whatever we have to, to help bring that about."