Belfast Telegraph

‘Saoirse Smyth's family deserve to know what happened to her’...fresh plea over woman missing for 18 months

By Allan Preston

Detectives have issued a fresh appeal over the suspected murder of a west Belfast woman missing for over a year.

Saoirse Smyth (28) was last seen in Belfast on April 11, 2017 but police believe she returned that day to Omeath in Co Louth where she had been living.

Although a number of lines of enquiry remain open, the PSNI believe it's possible she was murdered.

Detective Chief Inspector Geoffrey Boyce said the Smyth family had been left "devastated" by her disappearance 576 days ago.

In July, a 40-year-old man and 48-year-old woman were questioned and released on bail.

A third suspect has also been identified, but is serving a lengthy prison sentence in Dublin's Mountjoy prison.

The suspect has yet to agree to a PSNI interview, which is required for legal reasons, but DCI Boyce said he was working closely on the matter with An Garda Siochana.

The PSNI carried out new enquiries in Newry yesterday and placed posters in retail areas in the hope of reaching anyone with information about Saoirse's disappearance.

It's hoped any witnesses will remember her distinctive bright red hair.

"To this day Saoirse has not had any contact with her friends or family since the day she disappeared, including on birthdays and at Christmas," said DCI Boyce.

"This is very unusual for Saoirse and while we are keeping an open mind, we believe that she may have been murdered."

He believes someone in the Newry area may have information about her disappearance.

"Saoirse often commuted from Belfast to Omeath through Newry and used a number of local taxi companies," he said.

"We will not give up investigating what happened to Saoirse and we are working closely with our colleagues in An Garda Siochana.

"I am appealing for anyone who has any information about Saoirse's disappearance to come forward.

"Saoirse was a daughter, sister and granddaughter and her family deserve to know what has happened to her."

Her grandmother Vera Smyth previously appealed for information so the family could give Saoirse a Christian burial.

"It is heartbreaking, someone out there knows something," she said in July.

"If you know anything, come forward to give us peace of mind, because she doesn't deserve the death she has."

Mrs Smyth had looked after her granddaughter from the age of four after her mother died.

She said that Saoirse had struggled with drug addiction in her later years.

"Drugs are a curse. Saoirse took drugs, it changed her life," she said.

Anyone with information about Ms Smyth's disappearance can contact detectives via the non emergency number 101.

Alternatively information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555.

Belfast Telegraph

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