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PSNI search New search begins for body of missing Lisa Dorrian in Down

The PSNI have started a search of the Clay Pits area of Ballyhalbert looking for the body of Lisa Dorrian

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Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy and Joanne Dorrian appealed for anyone who has information on missing Lisa Dorrian. Photo: Pacemaker

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy and Joanne Dorrian appealed for anyone who has information on missing Lisa Dorrian. Photo: Pacemaker

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy and Joanne Dorrian appealed for anyone who has information on missing Lisa Dorrian. Photo: Pacemaker

The PSNI have said they are conducting a new search for the body of missing County Down woman Lisa Dorrian.

Lisa was 25 when she disappeared, having been at a party in a caravan park in Ballyhalbert on the Ards Peninsula in 2005.

In the same year, detectives changed the status of the investigation from a missing persons search to a murder case.

Today, the police began the search the Clay Pits area near the caravan park Lisa went missing from.

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PACEMAKER PRESS 
Missing Bangor girl Lisa Dorrian.

PACEMAKER PRESS Missing Bangor girl Lisa Dorrian.

PACEMAKER PRESS Missing Bangor girl Lisa Dorrian.

Joanne Dorrian, Lisa's sister, made a statement at the site, thanking the police for "realising how important this is" to she and her family.

She added: "Lisa is everything to us and coming down to a site like this today, it just puts it all in perspective just how brutal what actually happened to Lisa could possibly be.

"You let your mind go there on occasion, but you have to stop that because it would consume you.

"Our love for Lisa is the only thing that keeps us going. We're stronger as a family now than we were 16 years ago.

"She doesn't deserve to be in a place unknown to us and those who loved her, she deserves to have a Christian burial."

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy, who is leading the investigation said: "Detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team, together with divers, are conducting a number of searches in the Ballyhalbert area. The searches are concentrated on a number of lakes at The Clay Pits close to the caravan park where Lisa was last seen alive.

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PACEMAKER
Divers searching for missing Lisa Dorrian

PACEMAKER Divers searching for missing Lisa Dorrian

PACEMAKER Divers searching for missing Lisa Dorrian

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“Sixteen years have now passed, but our resolve has not diminished. It is important that we bring the Dorrian family the answers that any grieving family deserves. While we want to recover Lisa’s body and allow the Dorrian family to finally lay Lisa to rest we remain determined to bring those who killed her to justice and are also looking for evidence relating to her disappearance.

“We continue to review parts of the original investigation and previous searches in the area. These searches are an extension of us adopting new thinking around the circumstances of Lisa’s murder.

While this area was previously considered and work conducted to examine it, our investigative thinking and knowledge has developed over time. It is important to the police service and Lisa’s family that we have clarity, and with the development of search techniques and technology, I intend to gain reassurance that the examination of the lakes has been conducted to the necessary extent and to modern day standards.

“I have previously stated that I do not believe that Lisa’s murder was pre-planned and I am of the view that the deposition of her body was equally unplanned. I have repeatedly said that I believe the answers to her murder remain local to Ballyhalbert and I remain convinced that a small number of people hold the key to Lisa’s disappearance.

"I continue to appeal for those with direct knowledge of Lisa’s whereabouts to find a way to get that information to me, anonymously or via a third party if necessary.

“Anyone with information should call detectives on 101. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“More than 400 searches have been conducted across Northern Ireland in connection with Lisa’s disappearance. The fact that those searches have not found her body have caused me to re-focus our investigation on what is most likely to have happened on that Sunday night, the 27th of February 2005.”

To this day no one has been charged with the murder of Lisa Dorrian.


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