Mother of murdered Ballykelly teen says ‘I will never give up hope’

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

The mother of murdered Ballykelly teenager Jonathan Cairns says she will “never give up hope” her son’s killer will be brought to justice.

Hazel Cairns was speaking as it emerged PSNI investigators met in recent days with a cousin and close family friend of the teenager behind the online campaign via Facebook ‘Justice for Jonathan’.

“Nothing has changed, and unless there is new evidence, or there is a miracle, I can’t see much changing,” Hazel told the ‘Journal’.

“We’re still hoping something will come up. We’ll never give up hope on getting justice for Jonathan. We might never see it in our day, but we will never give up hope.”

A man from Ballykelly was sentenced to five years in 2002 when he was found guilty of helping to dispose of Jonathan’s body, but no-one has ever been convicted of his murder.

The online campaign was started by a close family member and close friend of Jonathan’s features a series of newspaper clippings covering the murder which rocked the village in 1999. Reports from when the investigation was re-opened in 2012 also feature alongside television footage, and an appeal made on BBC Crimewatch UK.

Jonathan’s cousin said it was good to meet with the two PSNI officers from the investigation team, and renewed the family’s appeal for information. After the meeting, he said he remains hopeful, and urges anyone who knows anything about what happened to his cousin to come forward.

“We had a two-hour meeting with the team who are at present going over old evidence and looking into the new information received by direct contact to them by the public and also through our page,” he said. “The people of the village are the key to this investigation, No matter how small it is, that information could make the difference.”

He said anyone worried about giving information should know “the whole community is behind you and you have nothing to fear”.

“Free yourself and help Jonathan finally rest in peace,” he said, adding a £30,000 reward remains for information leading to the conviction of Jonathan’s killer.