Police reopen Jonathan Cairns murder probe

Jonathan Cairns. INLV1112-245KDR
Jonathan Cairns. INLV1112-245KDR

Police have reopened the investigation into the murder of a Co Derry teenager almost 13 years ago.

Jonathan Cairns, from Ballykelly, was assaulted on his way home after a night out in Ballykelly on 25 April 1999.

His body was found in a shallow grave in Loughermore Forest five miles outside the village.

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

Detectives from Serious Crime Branch are following a number of new lines of enquiry, following a review of the case.

Detective Chief Inspector John McVea, said: “We are following a number of new lines of enquiry and are keen to speak with anyone who may be able to assist us with the investigation.

“Jonathan was a local teenager who was killed on his way home after a night out. We believe his killer or killers also lived locally. We also believe that people within the Ballykelly community have information which could help solve this case.

“We appreciate it is almost 13 years ago but we are asking people to think back to the Saturday night and Sunday morning of 24/25 April 1999. Police spoke to many people at the time but we are still trying to identify anyone who was in the Clooney Road/Loughermore Road/Caman Park areas of Ballykelly between 1.30am and 9am on Sunday 25 April.

“People may not have been prepared to come forward at the time for a variety of reasons but we are asking local people to think again. Circumstances and loyalties may have changed over the intervening 13 years and it is never too late to do the right thing.”

Detectives can be contacted at North Queen Street in Belfast on 028 9056 1812 or, if someone does not want to give their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and provide information anonymously on 0800 555 111.