The detective leading the investigation into the disappearance of Bangor woman Lisa Dorrian has for the first time ruled out paramilitary involvement in her murder.
The disappearance of the 25-year-old from a caravan park in Ballyhalbert 16 years ago is one of Northern Ireland’s most high profile unsolved murders.
“I’m really satisfied from looking at all the material over the past 16 years that there was no paramilitary involvement whatsoever,” PSNI Detective Superintendent Murphy said.
“So if anyone feels the fear from the spectre of paramilitary involvement in this investigation in any way shape or form, they can now set that to one side.”
In an exclusive interview for UTV, DS Murphy also stopped short of offering the killers an amnesty in return for Lisa’a body.
“While I can’t say no-one is ever going to be prosecuted in terms of Lisa’s murder and no-one would expect me to do that, it’s really important that I create opportunities for those who have carried the burden of knowing where Lisa is to bring that information to me confidentially,” he said.
“I can’t give amnesties.”
Lisa’s family say their priority has always been to give her a Christian burial and, 48 hours after the most recent searches ended without success, they insist they will never give up hope of finding her.
“The person who hid Lisa’s body, but played no part in her murder to come and tell us where she is, that’s all we need from them - a place,” Lisa’s sister Joanne said.
“Crimestoppers have a facility now where you don’t even have to speak the name. You can do it completely anonymously. The police will never know where that came from.”
Police believe that just one or two people know where Lisa’s body is and could help to give her family at least some sense of closure after all these years.
Lisa’s mother Pat sadly passed away without ever knowing what happened to her daughter.
The family believe that the ordeal broke her heart and ultimately led to her untimely death.
“My mum would still be here if Lisa were here. This is what caused my mum to die,” Lisa’s sister Michelle said.
“We have children ourselves now and that is totally unimaginable.”