Hundreds of flyers posted in Ballykelly about Jonathan Cairns murder

Part of the flyer, hundreds of which were posted throughout Ballykelly.
Part of the flyer, hundreds of which were posted throughout Ballykelly.

Police are investigating after hundreds of flyers were posted throughout Ballykelly about the murder of local teenager Jonathan Cairns.

The posters, which show one of the last pictures to be taken on the 18-year-old, and of his grave, include details the murder which rocked the close knit village in April 1999.

Most of the flyers, which were plastered on walls, the local community centre, telegraph poles and business premises and which name and picture a number of individuals, have now been removed.

Jonathan’s heartbroken parents, Raymond and Hazel said they have no idea who is behind the posters, which make a plea to anyone who knows about what happened and who was involved to ‘Break Your Silence’, and ‘Clear your conscience and let Bap rest in peace’.

“I got a phone call that the posters were up so I went and had a look,” said Raymond. “Whoever did it, I don’t know, but at least it keeps Jonathan’s murder in the public mind.”

Hazel said whoever is behind the poster campaign wants justice for Jonathan as much as his family.

“I was shocked to see Jonathan’s face on the posters, and I wondered who did it, but obviously whoever it was what happened to Jonathan is preying on their mind. Somebody is as desperate as we are to get justice,” said Hazel.

A close friend and cousin of Jonathan’s who started an online campaign and the Facebook page ‘Justice for Jonathan Cairns’ posted online on Thursday: “Justice for Jonathan ( person or persons involved in the page ) And Jonathan’s family had no part to play in the planning, printing, or placing the posters/flyers.”

Police said in June they are following “new lines of enquiry” into the murder of the teen.

Jonathan Cairns - known as ‘Johnny Bap’ to his friends - was last seen by his parents standing at a chip shop with his friends in Ballykelly in the early hours of April 25, 1999. Jonathan’s body was found in a shallow grave in Loughermore Forest, five miles from the family home where his parents still live. His bloodied clothes were found just yards from his home in the grounds of a local school.

A man from Ballykelly was jailed for five years for helping to dispose of Jonathan’s body, but no-one has ever been convicted of his murder.

Police re-opened the inquiry in 2012 and Detective Chief Inspector John McVea, who is leading the inquiry, said the investigation remains open and they were following “new lines of enquiry”.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police are aware of the posters and are conducting enquiries.”