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Family fear man (22) drowned after he fled police

A DESPERATE family has appealed to diving clubs to assist in their search for a young man they fear drowned as he fled police custody.

David Colhoun (22), from Lifford, Co Donegal, has not been seen since he escaped from PSNI custody in Strabane, Co Tyrone, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The man, who had been arrested for drunk and disorderly behaviour, was being transferred from one police car into another when he made his getaway across the border.

It was unclear whether he was wearing handcuffs at the time. Yesterday, the missing man's father, James Colhoun met with the police ombudsman in Strabane to discuss the circumstances surrounding his son's escape.

Meanwhile, scores of relatives and friends joined the search along the banks of the River Mourne that straddles the border between Lifford and Strabane.


Officers have viewed CCTV footage of the youth running across the bridge and down a footpath towards the river.

"We think he might have decided to swim back over the river. He was a very strong swimmer and he swam across that river many times but he might have jumped into the water at the wrong place and banged his head.

"Also the current was very strong and the water level was about six feet higher than it normally is," said a source close to the family last night.

The family, who have criticised the PSNI and gardai for what they claim is their lack of assistance in the search, also enlisted the aid of a clairvoyant.

"The family have accepted that David is dead.

"His father believes if he was in hiding he would have rang home or rang his girlfriend.

"All they want now is to find his body and they are asking for diving groups to come to their assistance," he said.

Last night searches along the riverbank resumed when the tide turned after 7pm.

Irish Independent