Thursday 8 December 2016

New search launched 22 years after Irish schoolgirl goes missing

Published 15/09/2016 | 18:45

Arlene Arkinson disappeared aged 15 in 1994 after a night out at a disco in Donegal
Arlene Arkinson disappeared aged 15 in 1994 after a night out at a disco in Donegal

Police searching for missing Irish schoolgirl Arlene Arkinson are examining a new site in Tyrone.

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The new site is located at a field near Killen, outside Castlederg.

Arlene vanished aged 15 in August 1994 after a night out in Co Donegal.

She was last seen being driven off down a country road late at night by convicted child killer Robert Howard. The field being examined by specialist teams is about a mile from that road.

Howard was acquitted of the schoolgirl's murder in 2005 by a jury not told about his lengthy criminal history, which included killing another teenager, Hannah Williams, in south London several years earlier.

Arlene's body has never been found despite extensive searches. Howard remained the prime suspect until his death in prison last year.

The full inquest formally opened in February after years of delays.

Det Ch Supt Raymond Murray, head of Serious Crime Branch, said: "The family of Arlene Arkinson have been advised of this development purely as a precautionary measure.

"It would be premature to draw any inference from this initial report or the police response to it at this time."

Belfast Telegraph

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