Belfast Telegraph

We won’t give up on Lisa Dorrian, PSNI chief vows after searches resume

Searches: Lisa Dorrian
Searches: Lisa Dorrian
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

George Hamilton is still holding out hope the PSNI can find the remains of Lisa Dorrian, 14 years after her disappearance.

The Chief Constable led the initial investigation in February 2005 when the 25-year-old went missing after a party in a caravan Park in Ballyhalbert, Co Down.

He again asked anyone who knows what happened to the Bangor woman to examine their consciences as renewed searches to locate her remains continue on the Ards peninsula.

Police began their latest search on Monday at a disused airfield beside a caravan park.

New technology is being used to examine underground areas searchers had not previously been able to explore.

After receiving information from the National Crime Agency, the PSNI said it believed Lisa was killed and buried within hours of her disappearance.

The force is now using this information, as well as the new techniques, to search the area.

A disused airfield behind a campsite had been the focus for police earlier in the week, but attention has now turned to a second area - a steep embankment several hundred yards from the original site.

"We will always do our level best around this," the Chief Constable said yesterday.

"The Dorrian family have had inexplicable suffering and loss and my heart goes out to them, to Lisa's father John, sister Joanne and the other family members.

"We don't close cases. What we do is continually review them. If new information comes to light, we will apply that. If new technology becomes available, we will apply that too.

"In this case there are a number of investigative lines of inquiry that Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy identified and felt were worth revisiting by applying the new technology available to us.

"If there is a possibility of finding Lisa's remains, getting answers for the family and bringing a degree of closure, we have to do it.

"This will always be a massive loss for the Dorrian family, but I'm glad that people are still relentlessly pursuing this case.

"Several officers have worked on this case over the years and I did support it in the early days in 2005. We did our level best, we reviewed it and we held ourselves to account, but we can't make up the evidence, frankly.

"What the current senior investigating officer is doing has my close support."

Mr Hamilton said he hoped for the family's sake that police get to a point of a potential criminal justice outcome, with arrests and charges.

He added: "Who knows where the investigation will take us? I would still appeal to people who have not yet come forward to police, for whatever reason, to search their consciences and help us bring some degree of closure to this family.

"I have to let the senior investigating officer do his job - that's no longer my role. I just need to support him and the organisation needs to get behind him so we can bring some answers to the Dorrian family."

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Barbara Gray added that police would be relentless in seeking to find the truth over Lisa's disappearance.

"The operation and investigation into the circumstances of Lisa's death - we know it's being treated as murder - are ongoing," she said.

"It has been 14 years since Lisa's murder, but we will be relentless in seeking to find out what the circumstances were and who is responsible."

Belfast Telegraph


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