Wednesday 21 August 2019

Arrest linked with murdered teen

Anita Guidera

GARDAI investigating the brutal murder of a schoolgirl, who disappeared 18 months ago, have arrested a 43-year-old man in connection with her death. The decomposed remains of Melissa Mahon were discovered in Lough Gill last February by gardai acting on vital information.

The Irish Independent has learned that the investigation switched to a murder hunt after recent test results on bones and teeth recovered from the lake showed that the remains were those of the 14-year-old, who went missing in September 2006.

A 43-year-old man was arrested in Sligo town yesterday under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and taken to Sligo Garda Station for questioning. Under the provisions of the act he can be detained for 24 hours.

A garda spokesperson confirmed that the man had been arrested in the Sligo town area by gardai.

Meanwhile, a garda forensic team moved in yesterday afternoon to carry out a search on a house in Sligo Town which was cordoned off as a crime scene. The development came yesterday morning following weeks of painstaking investigation by a dedicated garda team after the grim discovery of human remains in Lough Gill on February 12, following a nine-day search of the lake.

Melissa had been in foster care at the time of her disappearance from Rathbraughan Park in Sligo, on September 14, 2006. It was initially thought that the troubled teen, who was known to have been unhappy, had run away.

But the investigation stepped up in early February after gardai received what they described as "significant information".

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