Missing NI teenager Caoimhin Cassidy died in burning stolen car, police confirm

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Missing Northern Ireland teenager Caoimhin Cassidy has been formally identified as the man whose body was discovered inside a burning stolen car at the weekend.

Caoimhin Cassidy, 18, was last seen in Londonderry on Friday May 31.

Caoimhin Cassidy. (Photo issued by P.S.N.I. Foyle)

Caoimhin Cassidy. (Photo issued by P.S.N.I. Foyle)

But the PSNI have now confirmed that it was his body found inside the burning car in the Galliagh area of the city during the early hours of Saturday.

Detective Inspector Michael Winters said: “The body of 18-year-old Caoimhin Cassidy was located inside a red Mazda 6 which had crashed on the Fairview Road during the early hours of Saturday 1 June.”

He continued: “Initially it was believed that the car had caught fire as a result of the collision however the results from the post mortem examination tell us that Caoimhin was not seriously physically injured as a result of a crash, and was in fact most likely still alive when the blaze started.

“Our enquiries to date have established that the Mazda 6, registration NHZ4594 was stolen from a house in the Oakfield Crescent area earlier that same night. The car is known to have crossed the border into County Donegal a number of times before it was reported on fire at Fairview Road at 4.15am.”

Appealing for information, the detective added: “We are appealing for the public’s help in determining the movements of the vehicle during the early morning hours of Saturday 1 June. We also need to urgently identify any individuals who may have been with Caoimhin on that fateful night.

“This was an appalling end to a young life and Caoimhin’s family and friends deserve to know how he died.

Detectives can be contacted at Strand Road CID on 101 quoting reference number 316 01/06/19.

“Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”

Mr. Cassidy's girlfriend, Raychel Anne Smith McLaughlin, posted a message on Facebook on Monday evening.

"My nightmare has become reality, no words can describe how I feel at the minute," she said.

"Rest in peace babey'boy [sic], I will always, always love you Caoimhin Cassidy."

Miss Smith McLaughlin posted another tribute to her boyfriend on Tuesday afternoon.

"Cant stand the fact ill [sic] never see you again , it will be soreal [sic] when we bring you home tomorrow - am lost, confused, baffled!

"Why you? Why so soon? Questions ill [sic] ask myself forever, broke to the bone isnt [sic] the words."

One of Mr. Cassidy's friends said he hoped Mr. Cassidy could "rest easy" in heaven.

"Rest easy big man keep and eye on ur [sic] wee bro and the rest of the family - thoughts and prayers are with ya all," said the friend.