Belfast Telegraph

Woman arrested over 1999 murder of a Co Londonderry teenager

Jonathan Cairns, 18, was attacked in Ballykelly on his way home from a night out in April 1999.

Jonathan Cairns was attacked and beaten to death as he made his way home from a night out 20 years ago (PSNI/PA)
Jonathan Cairns was attacked and beaten to death as he made his way home from a night out 20 years ago (PSNI/PA)

By Rebecca Black, PA

A woman has been arrested over the murder of a teenager in Co Londonderry 20 years ago.

Jonathan Cairns, 18, died on April 25 1999 after being attacked on his way home from a night out.

His body was found in a shallow grave in Loughermore Forest following a search.

Detectives investigating his murder arrested a 44-year-old woman in the Dungiven area on Tuesday.

She was taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite in Belfast for questioning.

A man was previously jailed for helping to dispose of Mr Cairns’ body but no-one has ever been convicted of his murder.

Speaking after the arrest, Detective Inspector Adrian Brown said Mr Cairns’ family deserve answers.

“I continue to appeal for information in relation to Jonathan’s murder,” he said.

“For over 20 years, Jonathan’s family and friends have suffered intolerable grief and they deserve answers.

“I understand their desire to see justice done and I believe that people within the Ballykelly community have information that could assist my investigation.

“Some people were not prepared to come forward at the time for a variety of reasons but I am asking people to search their conscience and think again.

“Circumstances and loyalties may have changed over years and it is never too late to do the right thing.

“Anyone with information should call detectives on 101. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

PA

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