Further searches in investigation into murder of Lisa Dorrian - ‘I believe the answers to her murder remain local to Ballyhalbert and I remain convinced that a small number of people hold the key to Lisa’s disappearance’

Further searches are being conducted by detectives investigating the murder of Lisa Dorrian in Ballyhalbert.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 3:14 pm

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy, who is leading the investigation said: “Detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team, together with divers, are conducting a number of searches in the Ballyhalbert area.

“The searches are concentrated on a number of lakes at The Clay Pits close to the caravan park where Lisa was last seen alive”

Det Supt Murphy added: “Sixteen years have now passed, but our resolve has not diminished.

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“It is important that we bring the Dorrian family the answers that any grieving family deserves.

“While we want to recover Lisa’s body and allow the Dorrian family to finally lay Lisa to rest we remain determined to bring those who killed her to justice and are also looking for evidence relating to her disappearance”.

He said the PSNI “continue to review parts of the original investigation and previous searches in the area”.

“These searches are an extension of us adopting new thinking around the circumstances of Lisa’s murder,” he said.

Lisa Dorrian's sister Joanne speaks at the scene of the latest search in Ballyhalbert. Detectives investigating the murder of Lisa Dorrian are conducting further searches in Ballyhalber

“While this area was previously considered and work conducted to examine it, our investigative thinking and knowledge has developed over time.

“It is important to the police service and Lisa’s family that we have clarity, and with the development of search techniques and technology,

“I intend to gain reassurance that the examination of the lakes has been conducted to the necessary extent and to modern day standards”.

Det Supt Murphy added: “I have previously stated that I do not believe that Lisa’s murder was pre-planned and I am of the view that the deposition of her body was equally unplanned.

PACEMAKER BELFAST 16/5/2005: Lisa Dorrian went missing from a Co Down caravan park IN 2005

“I have repeatedly said that I believe the answers to her murder remain local to Ballyhalbert and I remain convinced that a small number of people hold the key to Lisa’s disappearance.

“I continue to appeal for those with direct knowledge of Lisa’s whereabouts to find a way to get that information to me, anonymously or via a third party if necessary.

“Anyone with information should call detectives on 101. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

He added: “More than 400 searches have been conducted across Northern Ireland in connection with Lisa’s disappearance.

Lisa Dorrian's dad John at the scene of the latest search in Ballyhalbert. Detectives investigating the murder of Lisa Dorrian are conducting further searches in Ballyhalbert

The fact that those searches have not found her body have caused me to re-focus our investigation on what is most likely to have happened on that Sunday night, the 27th of February 2005”.

PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2021 Detectives investigating the murder of Lisa Dorrian are conducting further searches in Ballyhalbert
Lisa Dorrian's sister Joanne speaks with senior investigating officer Jason Murphy at the scene of the latest search in Ballyhalbert
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/6/2006 Missing Bangor girl Lisa Dorrian