Man arrested over killing of Derry teenager 20 years ago

Police hold 49-year-old on suspicion of withholding information about murder

The man is the fourth person to be arrested in connection with Jonathan Cairns’s murder since police launched a fresh appeal for information on the 20th anniversary of his death earlier this year. File photograph: Paul McErlane/EPA

The man is the fourth person to be arrested in connection with Jonathan Cairns’s murder since police launched a fresh appeal for information on the 20th anniversary of his death earlier this year. File photograph: Paul McErlane/EPA

 

A man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a teenager whose body was found in a shallow grave in a Co Derry forest 20 years ago.

Jonathan Cairns, who was 18 and from Ballykelly, was attacked as he made his way home from a night out on April 25th, 1999.

His remains were found in Loughermore forest, not far from his home, the following day, and his bloodstained clothing was discovered in the grounds of a local school.

The 49-year-old, who was arrested in the Coleraine area on Wednesday, is also being questioned on suspicion of withholding information and perverting the course of justice.

He is the fourth person to be arrested in connection with Mr Cairns’s murder since police launched a fresh appeal for information on the 20th anniversary of his death earlier this year.

Last month, a 44-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of murder and two men, aged 43 and 51, were arrested on suspicion of withholding information. They were released on bail pending further inquiries.

One man was jailed in 2002 for perverting the course of justice but nobody has been convicted of his murder.