Killer and accomplice increasingly nervous that people who kept their secret will break
Pressure is building on the killer of Lisa Dorrian, with a reward for information that would lead to the recovery of her body reaching more than £60,000.
Graffiti calling for Lisa’s whereabouts to be made known has also appeared, and the Dorrian family are confident of securing justice.
The family is running a campaign to locate the remains of the 25-year-old, who went missing from a caravan park in Ballyhalbert in 2005.
The body of the Bangor woman has never been recovered, but sources say her killer and a person thought to have assisted him in concealing her body are “really feeling the pressure”.
The weak link in the cover-up is thought to be a female friend of one of the men who was told information about the murder but has never revealed it.
Increasing publicity around the case is said to have made the handful of people who kept the secret increasingly nervous.
Sources say there is a growing paranoia among the group about who will ‘break’ first.
Lisa’s sister Joanne launched a GoFundMe page this month in the hope of raising a reward for information that would lead to the recovery of her remains.
With an original target of £30,000, the fund is now double that, and at the time of going to print was sitting at £61,522.
This is thanks to donations from more than 60 people, along with £50,000 from Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, a US businessman. The reality TV star spotted the campaign on Twitter and has backed the family ever since.
The father-of-six said: “As a dad who lives for my children, I felt compelled to reach out and offer to help Lisa’s sister Joanne as I could see all the efforts her family have put into finding Lisa over the last number of years.”
Along with his husband Tony Drewitt-Barlow, Barrie was once half of the first gay couple in the UK to father children through surrogacy. He later starred in a reality show about his family.
His donation helped raise the reward to a level that is making the main suspect in the case very nervous that he will be betrayed by one of the handful of people who have information about what happened to Lisa.
Despite numerous appeals and a 17-year investigation with more than 400 searches, none of the potential witnesses has ever come forward.
Lisa’s mother Pat Dorrian died in 2015. Her family said she died of a broken heart after losing her first-born daughter in such traumatic circumstances.
Joanne said it was their family’s greatest wish to lay mother and daughter to rest together.
The family intends to work with the charity Crimestoppers so that any information is passed on in a way that protects people too frightened to come forward publicly.
The lure of such a huge sum of money is said to have rattled the killer and his main accomplice, who are worried that they are about to be betrayed.
Since the murder featured recently in the four-part BBC series Murder in the Badlands, Lisa’s case has been in the headlines.
The family hoped that taking part in the hard-hitting documentary would tug on the heartstrings of potential witnesses.
“People got a glimpse into our lives, and it was apparent, not just in our case but in all the documentaries, what we are all still living through,” said Joanne.
“We are still confident this will be our year. We had a police meeting and the confidence and what they are doing is really encouraging for us”.
The Dorrian family has said that while they trust the PSNI to deal with the justice side, they will continue to campaign for the return of Lisa’s remains.
The family were heartened by developments in the Jennifer Dornan case.
Earlier this month, a man was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of the mother-of-three at her home in August 2015. During the trial of Raymond O’Neill, a witness came forward and said they could no longer live with the information they had about the murder.
Their evidence was presented to a jury and helped convict O’Neill. The witness was the former girlfriend of one of O’Neill’s nephews.
In the Dorrian case, it is known that there is a female friend of the killer and his accomplice who may hold the information the family so desperately want.
It was always believed that the killers moved Lisa to somewhere in the Ballyhalbert area, but given the amount of remote land around the caravan park, police need more specific information about where to search.
Joanne said: “We are really pleased that the reward seems to be shaking the right trees.
“Information is coming in through various means, but the crucial piece we need to know is where Lisa was hidden.
“The £61,5000 should be enough motivation for people to tell us where Lisa is.
“Although we have never wanted finding Lisa to be about money, we would do anything to find her.
“We’ve been patient for 17 years, but enough is enough.
“Thank you to each and every person who has donated, from £5 to £50,000. Every pound matters in the campaign to find Lisa.”
To donate, search for ‘Reward Money to Help Find Lisa’ on gofundme.com. Alternatively, visit the family’s website, lisadorrian.co.uk