Belfast Telegraph

Two men released on bail in Jonathan Cairns murder investigation

Jonathan Cairns whose body was found in Loughermore Forest, Ballykelly, Co Londonderry in 1999
Jonathan Cairns whose body was found in Loughermore Forest, Ballykelly, Co Londonderry in 1999

Two men arrested by detectives investigating the murder of a Co Londonderry teenager more than 20 years ago have been released on bail.

The men, aged 51 and 43, were arrested in Limavady on Thursday morning on suspicion of withholding information.

Jonathan Cairns, from Ballykelly, was attacked as he made his way home from a night out with friends in the early hours of April 25, 1991.

The 18-year-old's body was found stripped and bound in a shallow grave in Loughermore Forest, not far from his home, later that day.

His bloodstained clothes were found in the grounds of the nearby Glasvey Special School.

Despite a police manhunt and a £30,000 reward being offered for information, no one has ever been charged with Jonathan's killing.

In 2002, 49-year-old Philip McGroarty, from Ballykelly, was jailed for perverting the course of justice.

He received a five-year sentence after being found guilty of helping to dispose of Jonathan's body.

A 44-year-old woman arrested in Dungiven on Tuesday as part of the investigation has been released on bail, pending further enquiries.

On the 20th Anniversary of Jonathan's murder earlier this year, his parents Raymond and Hazel Cairns made a heartfelt plea to people with information regarding their son's killing to come forward.

"It has been 20 years since our Jonathan was murdered. We miss him every day as bad as ever," Mr Cairns said.

"Jonathan was only 18 when he was murdered, he now would have been 38, maybe with a family of his own. We have missed all that.

"Jonathan was always a happy person, always smiling and always looking out for us. We loved him as much as he loved us and we think about him every day, all the time.

"To anyone who has information, it's never too late to come forward. Please tell us what you know."

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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