NewsCrime Desk

Man arrested in case of 17-year-old girl missing since 1997

Crime DeskBy Shuki Byrne
Missing: Ciara Breen was last seen in February of 1997
Missing: Ciara Breen was last seen in February of 1997
Vanished: Ciara Breen was last seen in 1997
Vanished: Ciara Breen was last seen in 1997

A man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of a 17-year-old girl in 1997.

Gardai confirmed a man in his 50s was this morning detained by detectives investigating the disappearance of Ciara Breen 18 years ago. 

The 17-year-old vanished without a trace after she was last seen at Bachelors Walk in Dundalk in the early hours of Thursday, February 13.

She is described as being of slim build, with a sallow complexion, long dark hair and blue eyes. When last seen, Ciara was wearing a black leather jacket, blue jeans, a wine-coloured sweatshirt and a white t-shirt with an image of her own face on it.

In December, her heartbroken mother told the RTE crime-solving series 'Crimecall' how her daughter told her she loved her the last time she ever spoke to her on the night she disappeared.

She said: “She said ‘goodnight’ and I said ‘goodnight pet, I love you’. And she goes ‘mammy, don’t you worry about anything, I love you, I’ll see you in the morning’. I said ‘sleep tight sweetheart, see you tomorrow’. They were the last words we spoke.”
It is believed the teen, who was an only child, sneaked out of the home she shared with her mum Bernadette to meet someone. But she was never seen again.
When her mother went to check on her daughter during the night, she discovered she had gone and waited up all night for her to come home but she never saw her again.
Bernadette said: “I think she went out the front door and left the window off the latch to get back in. I sat the whole night waiting for her to come back.”
Ciara was also wearing a black leather wristwatch with a square face and green background.
Crimecall reconstructed Ciara Breen’s last movements on the night she disappeared and made a direct appeal for an anonymous letter received by Gardai on the case to come forward.
In November, Gardai said that they have interviewed two possibly witnesses in the disappearance of the teen. A spokesperson said the witnesses "have been of great assistance to the investigation team."
Investigating officers are appealing to anyone who may have information in relation to Ciara’s disappearance or who may have seen her on the night/morning of her disappearance to contact Dundalk Garda Station on 042-9388400, the Garda Confidential Line 1-800-666-111 or any Garda Station. 
The arrested man is currently detained at Drogheda Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.