Belfast Telegraph

Woman arrested in Jonathan Cairns murder probe released on bail

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

A 44-year-old woman arrested by detectives investigating the murder of a Co Londonderry teenager more than 20 years ago has been released on bail, pending further inquiries.

Jonathan Cairns, from Ballykelly, was attacked as he made his way home from a night out in the early hours of April 25, 1999.

The 18-year-old's body was discovered 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.

Detectives investigating Jonathan's murder arrested a 44-year-old woman in the Dungiven area on Tuesday and she was taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite for questioning.

She was released on bail on Wednesday evening.

Despite a huge 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 in relation to the case.

McGroarty was handed a five-year sentence after being found guilty of helping to dispose of Jonathan's body.

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