Family of murdered woman Lisa Dorrian thanks PSNI as new underwater searches move into seventh day

The sister of a murdered 25-year-old woman has thanked the PSNI for their “unwavering” deteremination as searches for her body continue, 16 years after she went missing.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 7:04 am
Lisa Dorrian’s sister, Joanne, at the clay pits in Ballyhalbert, near where the 25-year-old went missing in 2005

Lisa Dorrian was last seen in Ballyhalbert Caravan Park in Co Down on February 27, 2005.

Despite extensive searches of the surrounding area, her body has never been found.

But fresh searches by specialist dive teams of several ponds in the clay pits area of Ballyhalbert are now on their seventh day.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The missing Bangor woman’s sister, Joanne, spoke to the News Letter yesterday about the ongoing search efforts.

“I think we are very lucky after 16 years to still have the attention and the expertise available to us,” she said.

“We don’t take it for granted. There are other families out there who are searching for justice so we definitely don’t take it for granted.

“We are really grateful to the PSNI for their efforts for Lisa. It’s been unwavering. Their efforts have been unwavering throughout the last 16 years.”

On Monday, the family described an “anxious time bones were found in the clay pits”.

But the family said “forensic checks” determined the remains were from an animal, although the incident “reminded everyone just how real this search is and just how easily this fingertip search of each of the lakes could lead us to Lisa.”

Joanne told the News Letter yesterday the painstaking “fingertip” searches could go on for some time unless Lisa’s body is found.

“We’ve always said that they just need to be in the right place and we are hopeful that they are,” she said.

“The length of time the searches will continue will depend on how quickly they get through them, but it’s worth remembering that these are fingertip searches of these ponds.

“It’s literally getting down and feeling every single inch of these ponds.”

She added: “I think we’re definitely looking at another week but hopefully we won’t have to get to that stage.

“We sit, at the moment, in complete limbo having no idea what happened that night and no idea where she is. We’ve been living in a perpetual state of grief. It’s cruel for everyone who knew Lisa and loved her. We need that acceptance, and we need – for Lisa – to be able to give her a Christian burial.”

The PSNI has appealed for anyone anyone with information to contact detectives on the non-emergency phone number 101.