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Caroline Graham murder: Home searched by specialist dogs

The specially trained victim recovery dogs are taken into the address in Hanover Street, Portadown

The specially trained victim recovery dogs are taken into the address in Hanover Street, Portadown

Special victim recovery dogs were brought in on Monday in a Portadown murder probe after fresh information was passed to the police investigating team.

Twenty-five years after teenager Caroline Graham disappeared from her home in Hanover Street, Portadown, the PSNI this week launched a renewed investigation into her murder.

Police believe her remains are still in the town.

And for the first time since her killing, they searched her last known address at 15 Hanover Street on Monday with the help of the specialist police dogs, which can detect minute traces of human remains.

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery said that the search was prompted by “important fresh new evidence” which came into the investigating team after recent media appeals.

The search was being carried out with the full cooperation of the current owner of the property, and with the blessing of Caroline’s Newry-based family “who are finding the process so painful” he said.

As was the case in a nearby search at Carleton Street in 2012, two sniffer dogs arrived with handlers and operated inside the house and at the rear of the building.

DCI Montgomery said that the search would last for some time, and added: “Despite all the hurdles posed by the passage of time, I still believe that a form of closure is possible for Caroline and her family.

“Our appeals for information have been productive. In general, people have been very helpful.

“We are now at a point where it is appropriate to once again begin a planned search operation, primarily to locate Caroline’s remains but also as an important part of the overall investigation into her murder.”

He added that they did not have a main suspect.

In the past two years waste ground between William Street and Carleton Street has been excavated and several nearby properties searched, but without results.

The latest search for Caroline comes six weeks after her mother Barbara made an impassioned appeal for information.

“All I want is closure,” she said. “I have lived without Caroline for 25 years and the pain has been hard to bear. It is particularly difficult on anniversaries, birthdays and family times like Christmas.”

Originally from Newry, Caroline had been living with her boyfriend for a couple of years in Hanover Street at the time of her disappearance.

Police say she went missing after a night out to the Coach bar/nightclub in Banbridge with a girlfriend.

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

Police believe she returned to Hanover Street to get some clothes, but has not been seen since.

Officers believe she was murdered some time later and that her remains are somewhere in Portadown.

 

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