The sister of missing teenager Arlene Arkinson said the family are still convinced her remains will be located 20 years on from when she vanished.
Arlene’s surviving sisters Kathleen , Paula and Anita, brothers Martin and Adrian and wider family circle have had their hopes of getting their sister’s remains back dashed repeatedly over the past two decades,
Numerous fresh leads and specialist body recovery searches in various locations have to date failed to locate the Castlederg teenager’s body.
Police are now believed to be preparing a fresh appeal for information to mark the anniversary of the 15-year-old’s disappearance.
A PSNI spokeswoman meanwhile last night confirmed that there has been a change at the helm of the PSNI investigation into Arlene’s disappearance, with a new Investigating Officer taking over the reigns from Raymond Murray after he was promoted to H District Commander.
Arlene was last seen by her family on the night of August 13th, 1994. She was heading off to a disco in Bundoran, County Donegal and the last sightings of her alive were in the early hours of August 14th.
Convicted child killer Robert Howard was acquitted of Arlene’s murder back in 2005, but the jury was not aware of Howard’s past catalogue of sex attacks.Nor were they told that just two years beforehand, Howard was convicted of murdering 14-year-old Hannah Williams in England.
In April this year a fresh lead about Arlene’s remains was mentioned during the inquest into her disappearance. The Inquest was adjourned in light of the development.
Kathleen Arkinson said however that the family have heard nothing since, but have been asked to meet with the new head of the PSNI investigation over the past few days.
Recalling the last time she saw her sister alive, Kathleen said: “It was a Saturday night. She went out that evening. On Saturday night past there it was raining, but the sun was shining that day 20 years ago. Arlene went out in a T-shirt, I’ll never forget it, I remember it just like yesterday. I’ll never forget her face. I remember everything, I could name you every CID, superintendant over Arlene’s case.
“I still believe Arlene will be found, maybe accidentally like Hannah. That feeling won’t go away. If I didn’t believe that there is no way I’d be here today, It took me a long time to say it, that Arlene is not missing she is murdered, but I know she is gone.
“The older you get the wounds get sorer. People say time is a healer, it’s not. But we won’t stop until Arlene is found.”