Missing woman’s mother asks for closure in renewed appeal

Barbara Graham (mother of Caroline)
Barbara Graham (mother of Caroline)

The mother of a young woman who disappeared 25 years ago and is believed to have been murdered, has today made a renewed appeal for information.

Barbara Graham took part in a news conference in Newry along with Serious Crime Branch detectives investigating the murder of 19-year-old Caroline Graham, who disappeared in Portadown in 1989.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Inspector Peter Montgomery, said he was revealing some new information.

“It was around Easter at the end of March 1989 and Caroline had been for a night out to the Coach in Banbridge with a girlfriend,” he said.

“She stayed part of the night with her friend in a hostel in Portadown but was gone in the morning.

“I have information that Caroline returned to Hanover Street [in Portadown] to get some clothes but she has not been seen since. I believe she was murdered some time later and that her remains are somewhere in Portadown.”

Caroline was in a relationship and living in Hanover Street at the time, but was originally from Newry.

Her mother said: “All I want is closure ... We haven’t even had the chance to hold a funeral because Caroline’s body has not been recovered. Please give us peace and lay Caroline to rest.”

Mrs Graham’s appeal came after a 76-year-old woman was arrested on Tuesday. She was later released unconditionally.

For almost two years police have been conducting renewed inquiries, including a major search operation in Portadown’s Carleton Street area when waste ground and parts of premises, including a well, were searched using dogs and specialist equipment.

Detectives believe the key to recovering Caroline’s remains and catching her killer or killers lies with a small group of local people.

Det Insp Montgomery said: “I want to say that if you have concerns about giving evidence, please speak to me.” The police can be contacted on 028 9070 0727 or 07585 22 82 83.