PSNI call in Police Ombudsman over Matthew McCallan search after missing person report

The PSNI has called in the Police Ombudsman for an assessment of its investigation into disappearance and death of Matthew McCallan.

They said they made the move after the family raised concerns.

The 15-year-old’s body was found in the Tattyreagh Road area of Fintona around midday on Monday (5 December).

He was reported missing in the early hours of Sunday after attending an event in the Co Tyrone village.

Posting on Facebook, Matthew’s mother Frances hit out a the PSNI over its handling of her son’s disappearance.

“My son is dead because the Police Service of Northern Ireland did nothing to help in the first ten to twelve hours of going missing,” she wrote.

“I told them it was totally out of character, yet no one listened and my friends and the Fintona community gathered the necessary cctv evidence.”

Police said they are “aware of the family’s concerns regarding the initial police response in the search for Matthew and the family have agreed to meet two senior officers to discuss".

Detective Superintendent Gareth Talbot added: “Our thoughts remain with Matthew’s devastated family. The pain they are experiencing is difficult to comprehend. A number of specially trained officers are providing support to them at this tragic time.

“Due to the family’s concerns we have decided at an early stage to make a notification to the Office of the Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland, for their assessment.

“Detectives will continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding Matthew’s death, which is being treated as unexplained and a post mortem is due to take place today.

“We are keeping an open mind at this stage and would appeal for anyone with information to come forward. Matthew was last seen at approximately 1.20am in the Ecclesville Centre, Fintona, and we are keen to establish his movements after this time.

“Police received a report of a missing person shortly after 3.30am on Sunday 4 December when Matthew did not arrive home after attending an event in Fintona on Saturday night. Sadly Matthew was discovered in a ditch in the laneway of a property approximately two miles away from the social event at around 11.45am yesterday. “Enquiries have now ruled out speculation which circulated on social media that Matthew was seen getting into a silver car. We have now identified and spoken to the occupants of the car and eliminated them from our enquiries. “I would appeal to anyone who saw Matthew or anyone who has CCTV or dashcam footage, to contact police on 101, quoting 319 of 04/12/22.”

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