Belfast Telegraph

'There are people out there who know where Caroline Graham is buried... they need to come forward now'

By Chris Kilpatrick

For 25 years, every birthday, wedding and special anniversary has been overshadowed by unbearable heartache for Caroline Graham's mother.

Desperate for answers as to what happened her 19-year-old daughter, Barbara Graham told how her disappearance had plunged her family into more than two decades of turmoil.

The pain is most raw for Barbara when, as a mother and grandmother, she should be at her happiest.

Moments of joy are overtaken by guilt.

"It's a living hell," she said, fighting back tears.

"There were 10 grandchildren born she never knew.

"Her brother and sister got married and she wasn't there.

"She should have been there, but unfortunately she wasn't.

"Those were the hardest times. Special occasions are hard. You have to grit your teeth for them.

"There are things lift you. You go for a few days then all of a sudden it's there again. You just don't talk about it, and if you don't talk about it you feel like you've forgotten about her.

"But you can't forget."

Newry-born Caroline lived between a house in Portadown with her boyfriend and a hostel when she went missing in 1989.

Two years ago police said she may have been buried below shops and houses at Carleton Street. The area was being redeveloped around the time Caroline vanished.

Investigators said she may have been buried during building work before being encased in concrete.

The focus of the PSNI's investigation at that time was a section of the street on which five houses, a taxi firm and a cafe currently sit. There is no suggestion any current or former owners or occupiers of these properties have any connection whatsoever to the crime.

A public appeal was made last year, with leaflets and billboards erected in the area in the hope somebody would come forward with clues as to what happened Caroline.

The most recent arrest came earlier this week when a 76-year-old woman was detained, before being released without charge.

Yesterday Det Insp Peter Montgomery said there were no immediate plans to carry out more searches unless further information comes forward.

Mrs Graham begged anybody who can help ease her family's pain to help.

"We need closure.," she said.

"It would be lovely to get her back. We just hope some day that somebody says something. We're hoping every evening she comes to the door, but that never happens.

"We just have to keep going.

"Somebody knows what has happened. It's been hell for me not knowing, not knowing where she is, what has happened," she said.

"It's very, very hard to live with. We all find it difficult."

The officer in charge of the murder probe said he was determined to resolve the mystery.

"You can see what this means to Barbara," said Det Insp Montgomery.

"I'm determined to find a resolution to this for Barbara.

"There have been arrests in the past and there has been information received I will act upon.

"There are people out there who know what happened Caroline and know where Caroline is.

"We would ask them to come forward."

Asked if she believes she knows what happened to her daughter, Mrs Graham replied: "I probably do. I just don't want to think about it."

End my living hell, begs mum of murdered teen 25 years on 

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph