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Police: German girl's murderer knew forest

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Inga Marua Hauser was murdered in Ballypatrick Forest

Inga Marua Hauser was murdered in Ballypatrick Forest

Inga Marua Hauser was murdered in Ballypatrick Forest

Police believe the killer of a German backpacker had detailed knowledge of the remote Co Antrim beauty spot where her body was dumped 20 years ago, it was revealed today.

Detectives investigating the murder of teenager Inga Maria Hauser have launched a fresh public appeal and published a detailed map, in a bid to identify all those with knowledge of the forest area where her body was discovered.

Officers said the location - in Ballypatrick Forest in north Antrim - is known to have been used at the time by people who rented forestry plots, Forestry Service employees and sub-contract labourers and turf cutters.

Previously one of the main lines of inquiry had been that Inga Maria might have been murdered by a lorry driver who picked her up as a hitchhiker.

The German 18-year-old travelled to Northern Ireland on April 6, 1988, arriving in Larne on a ferry from Scotland. Her body was discovered on April 20, 1988. Police believe that she died shortly after she arrived in Northern Ireland, having been subjected to a vicious and ruthless assault.

Detective Superintendent Raymond Murray today said: "On the 20th anniversary of Inga Maria's murder, police are publishing a map of the precise location where her body was found and a photograph of this location. Our inquiries lead us to believe that whoever killed Inga Maria and left her body in Ballypatrick Forest was familiar with that particular remote part of the forest. We need to talk to anyone who would have had such a knowledge prior to April 1988 - whether through their work, or if they rented forestry plots there or any had interest in that area."

He added: "There have been significant scientific advances in recent years in criminal investigation and detectives from the PSNI's Serious Crime Branch are using a number of processes to further our inquiries."

Belfast Telegraph