Northern Ireland news

Murder investigation launched into disappearance of Saoirse Smyth

 Saoirse Smyth has been missing for more than a year

A murder investigation has been launched into the disappearance of 28-year-old Saoirse Smyth.

A 40-year-old man was arrested in Newry last night in connection with Ms Smyth's April 2017 disappearance and a house in Omeath is being searched. He was later released on bail.

Ms Smyth was last seen in the Belfast area and her movements were traced to Omeath where she had been living at the time, according to police.

Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Boyce said the young woman had not been in contact with her family and friends who have made a number of social media appeals and police now believe the Belfast woman may have been killed.

“The investigation into Saoirse’s disappearance has progressed and while keeping an open mind I now believe that the potential exists for Saoirse to have sadly been murdered," Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Boyce said.

In December 2017 police issued a missing person appeal and today said they are working closely with An Garda Siochana "and an address is Omeath is currently being searched in connection with Saoirse’s disappearance".

DCI Boyd said Ms Smyth's family "deserve to know what has happened to her".

In a statement the family said: "Somebody out there must know something about what has happened to Saoirse and we would plead with anyone who knows anything to contact the police – and Saoirse if you are out there, please contact your family and let us know you are okay."

Anyone with information can contact detectives on 101 or 9065 0222 (048 9065 0222 if calling fom the Republic). Information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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