Belfast Telegraph

German backpacker Inga Maria murdered in Northern Ireland to be honoured with memorial

By Allan Preston

A memorial is to be unveiled this week to the victim of one of Northern Ireland's most notorious unsolved murders.

The body of 18-year-old German backpacker Inga Maria Hauser was found in a Co Antrim forest by a farmer in April 20, 1988.

Last sighted two weeks earlier on a ferry from Stranraer to Larne on April 6, the talented student from Munich died in a brutal attack

On Friday an inscribed stone, which has been approved by the Hauser family, will be unveiled at the entrance to Ballypatrick Forest on the outskirts of Ballycastle.

The unveiling will be hosted by SDLP MLA John Dallatand singer Keeley Moss, who have both campaigned for justice in the cold case.

Last week they met to discuss the investigation with PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray.

"I'm more hopeful than ever after speaking with him," Ms Moss said.

"A positive outcome is still within reach.

"I've always felt they've been extremely committed to the case.

"I feel that they're very clear and dogged in trying to solve this for Inga Maria's family."

She added: "There's a group of people in the north east Antrim area who know what happened.

"The PSNI are well aware of that and I believe they are focusing their efforts in the right area."

In 2002 Mr Dallat appealed to then PSNI Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan to reopen the investigation.

He described the meeting with Mr Murray as "very positive".

"It's been a very long struggle but I remain hopeful those who carried out the murder will be convicted," the MLA said.

"I appeal to witnesses to make an important decision to co-operate with the police.

"They may not even have to appear in court, as there is considerable forensic evidence."

For the past two years Ms Moss has been writing a blog on the case to make sure Inga Maria is not not forgotten. She said she was heartened that thousands of people had signalled their support.

"Many people have said to me there's nothing there to mark the place she lost her life," she added.

"That's why John and I thought an inscription stone would at least provide a focal point."

As well as performing at the unveiling of the stone herself, she said recordings of music made by Inga Maria would also be played.

"She's often referred to as a backpacker, but she was also a talented artist," Ms Moss said.

"She was musical and very skilled at sketching and drawing, and that's really what I want to focus on."

Mr Dallat added: "This is not only to commemorate a very courageous girl who died defending her honour, but also to encourage those who know about the murder to help conclude the case and bring peace to the Hauser family."

Belfast Telegraph

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