LISTEN - Father makes emotional plea 20 years after murder of Ballykelly teen

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Jonathan Cairns

by Q Radio News

On the 20th anniversary of the murder of Jonathan Cairns in Ballykelly, his father has made a renewed, emotional plea for information.

The 18-year-old, who was from Ballykelly, was attacked as he made his way home from a night out in the early hours of Sunday 25th April 1999.

His body was found in a shallow grave in Loughermore Forest, not far from his home, later that day. 

His blood stained clothes were also discovered in the grounds of Glasvey Special School.

One man was jailed for perverting the course of justice but no one has been convicted of Jonathan's murder.


(Jonathan Cairns' still grieving parents Hazel and Raymond)

Speaking in Ballykelly today, Jonathan's father Raymond says it never gets any easier:

Detectives are conducting searches in the area today and police officers will be handing out leaflets. 

A mobile police station will also be open today until 7pm in Ballykelly village at the junction between Plantation Road and the Main Street for anyone who wishes to speak with Police.

The investigation into Jonathan’s murder has involved:

• The identification of more than 2500 witnesses

• Taking statements from 872 people

• In excess of 20 searches

Detective Inspector Adrian Brown who's leading the investigation says he believes Jonathan's killer or killers were local to the area and may have known him.

He also believes that people in the Ballykelly area have information which could help solve the case: 

Detective Inspector Brown says two men were spotted in the area where Jonathan was murdered around that time. 

They have never come forward despite numerous appeals. 

Police are still keen to speak to them today.

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.

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