Belfast Telegraph

Christmas gift plea for Inga Maria Hauser's family

Information urged over teen's killing 30 years ago

The tribute to murdered teenager Inga Maria Hauser
The tribute to murdered teenager Inga Maria Hauser
The tribute to murdered teenager Inga Maria Hauser

By Aoife Moore

The greatest gift the family of a German teenager murdered in Northern Ireland could receive is information that could lead to justice, a memorial service heard.

The memorial for Inga Maria Hauser, who was killed more than 30 years ago, was held on Saturday.

The body of the Munich teenager was found dumped in a remote part of Ballypatrick Forest, outside Ballycastle, Co Antrim, 14 days after she was last seen alive on a ferry from Scotland.

The 18-year-old's death in April 1988 remains one of the region's most high-profile unsolved murders.

A tribute was paid to Ms Hauser on Saturday at the spot where her body was found. Mourners laid a Christmas wreath and German flag at the memorial plaque dedicated to her.

SDLP MLA John Dallat told the crowd that Inga's one surviving sister Friederike Leibl finds it impossible to celebrate Christmas because her killer has never been brought to justice.

He said: "My heart goes out to Friederike and Inga Maria's family. We organised this event to keep her memory alive and show them that more than 30 years after her murder she is still remembered by this community.

"The greatest Christmas present Inga's family could receive is information that could lead to her killer being prosecuted. I'd like to appeal again to anyone with knowledge of this to contact the police. There are people living in the area who know something. I would ask them to search their conscience and tell the police what they know."

Phoenix Law solicitor Claire McKeegan, who attended the memorial, tweeted: "Our thoughts are with the Hausers who are pressing the @thePPSNI for a decision on the suspect file. #justiceforINGA."

Last year, on the 30th anniversary of the crime, detectives said they believed a number of people may have been involved either directly in the murder or in the cover-up, and said they only need fractional pieces of evidence to bring the chief suspects to justice. Detectives investigating the killing have passed an evidence file on a 59-year-old suspect to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS). The PPS has yet to decide whether there are grounds to prosecute the man.

He was originally arrested in connection with the murder last May and later released on bail pending further inquiries.

Police have a male genetic profile found at the murder scene.

Previously, in one of the largest DNA screenings undertaken in the UK, 2,000 samples failed to produce a definitive match.

Ms Hauser had travelled through England and Scotland and, according to diary entries, intended to travel south to Dublin after her ferry docked at Larne, Co Antrim.

For reasons as yet unexplained, she ended up going in the opposite direction and was found dead in remote woodland two weeks later.

It is understood the IRA carried out its own investigation into the killing 30 years ago.

It is believed republican paramilitaries had considered passing information about the alleged murderer to the RUC at the height of the Troubles, but did not follow through.

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