by Q Radio News
Searches have started in County Louth today as part of an investigation into the murder of Saoirse Smyth.
Saoirse was originally from Belfast and disappeared in April 2017.
Police believe she was murdered after returning to Omeath in Co. Louth where she was living at the time and have been working closely with An Garda Síochána to get answers for her family.
Searches are being conducted in the Omeath area by Detectives from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI), supported by the Louth Divisional Search Team, Garda Technical Bureau, specialist Forensic Archaeologist and specialist Cadaver Search dogs.
Investigators from the PSNI are also assisting.
Both the PSNI and An Garda Síochána carried out a technical examination of a house in the Omeath area in July 2018.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Darren McCartney said: “Saoirse was originally from Belfast and disappeared in April 2017.
"Enquires have led us to believe that she has been murdered and we have been working closely with our colleagues in An Garda Síochána to get answers for her family.
“Saoirse was last seen in the Belfast area on April 11th 2017 and I believe she returned to Omeath, where she was living at the time, later that day.
Since her disappearance there has been no contact with family or friends which is highly unusual.
“Saoirse had very distinctive red hair and was approximately 5’0” tall and of slim build.
“Today Police are making an appeal for information about the circumstances leading to Saoirse’s disappearance and murder.
"We are particularly interested in speaking with anyone who had seen Saoirse or was in contact with her since January 2017.
“Saoirse’s family have been left devastated and they deserve to know what has happened to her. Anyone with any information about her disappearance should contact Detectives at the PSNI incident room Ladas Drive on 101 or 02890700355.
“Alternatively information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”