Belfast Telegraph

Marian Beattie: Teen girl murder hunt re-opened by police 40 years on

BY CLAIRE GRAHAM

POLICE have re-opened the murder investigation of a teenager whose partially-clothed body was found in a quarry 40 years ago.

Marian Beattie was just "an ordinary girl who went to a charity dance and ended up dead", police said.

The 18-year-old's body was discovered in Co Tyrone after she left a charity dance in Aughnacloy with an unknown man.

She lived in Portadown and had gone to the dance at Hadden's Garage with a girlfriend to watch her brother play in a band.

Marian was last seen leaving the dance with the man just after 1am on March 30, 1973.

Five hours later, her body was found at the bottom of the quarry.

Detective Inspector Peter Montgomery said: "We believe Marian and a man left the dance at Hadden's Garage and went to the nearby car park at the top of Hadden's Quarry about 400 yards away which was frequented by courting couples.

"Her body was found early the next morning at the bottom of the quarry, which is between 80-100ft below the car park."

The PSNI said that "something happened" in the car park but have no evidence to suggest Marian was sexually assaulted.

Detectives from the Serious Crime Branch announced they had re-opened the probe and are working again to identify the man with whom Marian left the dance.

"I appreciate this happened a long time ago but we would like to talk to anyone who was at the dance at Hadden's Garage on the night of Friday, 30 March 1973," said Mr Montgomery.

"Marian went there with a girlfriend to listen to her brother's band but who was she dancing with and talking to? Did you see her leave Hadden's Garage? Did you see her at the car park at Hadden's Quarry sometime after 1.15am on the Saturday?

"In addition, do you remember someone coming home from that dance in a distressed or dishevelled state, with perhaps dust or dirt on their clothes? Or has anyone ever talked about the events of that night? If you can help us to answer any of these questions, we need to talk to you." He described Marian as "an ordinary girl who went to a charity dance and ended up dead".

Anyone with information can contact detectives on 028 9070 0727 or 075 8522 8283, or Crimestoppers on 08 0055 5111.

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