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Police 'dig in Tyrone field' in hunt for Daron McReynolds and Gerard Conway

By Jill Goligher

Police searching for two men missing for more than a decade are planning to dig up a field in Co Tyrone following a tip-off, it has been reported.

Detectives investigating the disappearances of Daron McReynolds, who vanished in 2001, and Gerard Conway, who went missing six years later, are focusing their attention on a site near Ardboe. A field is expected to be excavated in the search for their bodies.

A woman is said to have walked into a local police station claiming she had information.

It includes allegations both men were killed by the same drug gang and are buried together in an unmarked grave in the Moortown area, Sunday Life reported.

Detectives are taking the allegations seriously and last week visited a number of homes in the Battery Road area, close to the alleged burial site.

Residents were told that specialist search teams could be on site within weeks.

Mr McReynolds (41), who was from Coagh in Co Tyrone, went missing in November 2001. He is thought to have had links to crime. The case took a dramatic twist in 2006 when police said they were treating his disappearance as a murder investigation.

Mr Conway was last seen in the Cookstown area at the end of January or early February in 2007.

Police said the 32-year-old could be considered a vulnerable adult.

Detectives believe both men may have been killed by the same gang.

They are enquiring as to whether Mr Conway died after an incident at a house party where members of the gang that killed Mr McReynolds were also present.

Residents living close to the alleged burial site have been visited by officers.

A source told Sunday Life: "Basically, what this woman has told cops is that this man helped get rid of the bodies for this group of thugs.

"She says she has known this information for some time but was too scared to come forward in case she became a target."

The source added: "She said she couldn't live with the guilt any longer and wanted to make a formal statement to police in the hope that if their bodies were found they could be returned to their families."

The PSNI said: "Police are continuing to investigate the disappearance of 32-year-old Gerard Conway in late January/ early February 2007.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

Despite extensive land and river searches over the years and a £100,000 reward being offered, no trace of Mr Conway has ever been found.

Earlier this year, on the 10th anniversary of his disappearance, his family issued a fresh appeal for information.

They said they had been left "distressed, broken and devastated by the disappearance of our son, brother and father".

"It is hard to put into words how we have coped over the past 10 years as we fear something untoward happened to Gerard," they said.

"We are unable to gain closure as we have no answers and too many questions as to what might have happened to Gerard.

"Until we find Gerard or recover his remains, it is simply impossible for us to properly commence the grieving process."

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