1. ITV Report

Police 'tantalisingly close' to solving German backpacker murder case

Murdered German backpacker Inga Maria Hauser, whose body was found north Antrim in 1988. Photo: PSNI

Police investigating the murder of a German backpacker in Northern Ireland almost 30 years ago have issued a fresh appeal for information.

Inga Maria Hauser travelled here in April 1988, arriving in Larne, Co Antrim on a ferry from Scotland.

She died after being subjected to a “vicious and ruthless assault” a short time later and was discovered in a remote part of Ballypatrick Forest on the outskirts of Ballycastle.

Police are convinced they are “tantalisingly close” to identifying her killer or killers.

Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray said her family deserve to know what happened and to get some degree of closure.

“The PSNI has made strenuous attempts over the years to find Inga Maria Hauser’s murderer and to suggest anything to the contrary is simply incorrect,” he continued.

“We remain convinced that we are tantalisingly close to identifying Inga Maria’s killer or killers.

“If everyone who has information was prepared to place it before the courts then a different resolution to the case could be possible.”

He explained that several hundred people have been screened through a DNA screening process, which was one of the largest ever conducted.

“The large majority of these in Northern Ireland but also some in Great Britain,” continued Raymond Murray.

“Extensive enquiries were also conducted with people who were on the ferry in 1988, despite there being incomplete passenger records.

“We have interviewed and recorded statements from hundreds of people and also carried out a renewed house to house strategy in 2011.”

He added: "While it has to be recognised that NI is dealing with a legacy of over 3000 murders, which is unique compared to any other European country, the PSNI is keen to bring Inga Maria’s murderer to justice.

“We still believe there are people in that community who know who killed Inga Maria and I would appeal to anyone who has any information, even at this late stage to contact police.”