Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Inga Maria's family still craving justice

Editor's Viewpoint

On April 6, 1988, Inga Maria Hauser boarded a Scottish ferry bound for Larne. There are no known sightings of her after that until her body, neck broken, was found in Ballypatrick Forest in Co Antrim.

It is a baffling unsolved murder, but 30 years on police may be closer than ever to finding the killer or killers.

The murder has stuck in the public mind when memory of so many others has faded because it involved an 18-year-old student holidaying in the UK and Ireland from her home in Germany.

She could have been anyone's daughter, a young girl travelling alone but enjoying her freedom.

Northern Ireland may have been in the grip of the Troubles, but visitors were not targets. Yet someone decided to take the teenager's life in a brutal manner.

In a province where the legacy of the Troubles is so deeply embedded in the psyche of both communities, we can readily empathise with the Hauser family, whose lives were haunted by Inga Maria's death.

Her father died of cancer and her mother is now suffering from Alzheimer's - perhaps a merciful release for a woman who had pleaded constantly for someone to pass on the missing evidence which could nail whoever was responsible for her death.

The continuing grief of Inga Maria's sister Frederica was immediately apparent to PSNI officers who visited her recently.

Naturally she can never forget the day when horror came to her family, and it has had a negative impact on her life.

A huge police investigation, including the use of advanced DNA screening techniques, has so far failed to identify the killer or killers.

However, police are confident that a small group of people in the area hold the key information to solving this crime.

Having held that information for three decades, it may be optimistic to believe that anyone would volunteer it to detectives. Yet even the most hardened conscience cannot forever ignore the pain of the Hauser family.

How often have we heard the bereaved of this province call for information as to why and how their loved ones died?

We must extend that demand on behalf of the Hauser family. They have suffered too long. Anyone with any information - and any vestige of humanity - which can bring them closure should do so without delay.

Belfast Telegraph

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