Belfast Telegraph

Inga Hauser's killer told - Confess and give my family closure

Devastating toll on victim's sister by killing revealed

By Allan Preston

The nephew of a German backpacker murdered in Northern Ireland 30 years ago has called on her killer to give his mother closure before she dies.

Inga Maria Hauser (18) from Munich was last seen alive on April 6, 1988, while crossing on a ferry from Scotland to Larne.

The teenager's body was found two weeks later in Ballypatrick Forest in Co Antrim.

Her nephew Viktor Leibl (25) was born four years later and grew up watching the devastating impact the death had on his family. His mother Frederica, Inga Maria's older sister, struggles with the loss to this day.

"It ripped the whole family apart," Mr Leibl said.

"Everyone here knew her and seemed to love her. My mother was the older sister who always had to follow the rules, but Inga Maria was allowed to do everything, so sometimes they would have clashes about that.

"But they were a very happy family at the time, now I'm left with what remains of that."

He added: "The whole story took a toll on my mother, she's not in the best state any more. She had two marriages, neither held very long. She also had a nervous breakdown a few years ago.

"She is able to live on her own these days, but it's better if someone is always there to help her."

Inga Maria's father Josef died in 2006 from cancer, while her mother Almut's Alzheimer's means she may never understand the truth.

During a renewed police appeal on the anniversary of the death earlier this month, Detective Superintendent Raymond Murray said DNA evidence had narrowed down the search to a "very small number of individuals".

"I think at least one of them is finding it very difficult to live with," he said at the time.

"It is not too late now to examine your own conscience and come forward to the police." Mr Leibl said the killer had the power to let the family move on. "To me and my mother it would bring us closure. We could say, 'It's over now'," he said. "It would be very important for her to live to see this. I only know the stories, I wasn't there, but I'm looking forward to hopefully getting some results.

"I grew up with this whole tragedy, I want justice for her."

For years, Mr Leibl believed it was only his family who remembered Inga Maria.

"It means so much to the family that people still care. I remember getting a letter addressed to my grandmother (from Irish singer Keeley Moss, who has campaigned for years to find those responsible.)"

"My grandmother couldn't read it herself so I opened it and it was mind blowing to me that the case was still open and the police and many others in Northern Ireland were still asking questions," he said. "These people are heroes. It's inspiring that people are still trying to find somebody."

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