Northern Ireland news

Prosecution Service to receive file on Inga Maria Hauser

Murdered German backpacker Inga Maria Hauser.

POLICE will send a file to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) by the end of this month in relation to the murder of German backpacker Inga Maria Hauser more than 30 years ago.

The 18-year-old student from Munich was found dead in a a wooded area near Ballycastle, Co Antrim in April 1988 after going missing shortly after she arrived in Northern Ireland on a ferry from Scotland.

She had planned to make her way from Larne to the railway platform and travel south from Belfast to Dublin, but ended up travelling in the opposite direction.

Her body was found two weeks later in a remote part of Ballypatrick Forest.

DNA belonging to an unknown male found at the scene is key to the new investigation.

A 59-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of her murder in May last year and was later released on bail pending further enquiries.

In February he was brought back in for further questioning.

A file will now be sent to the PPS and for the first time since her disappearance.

There has been criticism in the past of the police handling of the case, with solicitor Claire McKeegan of Phoenix Law now representing the family.

"We are pleased that there has finally been progress, the Hauser family have been left for over 30 years with very little information from police.

"I have met with detectives to express the family's concern at the continuing delays and welcome the fact that it finally seems to be advancing at a pace".

SDLP MLA John Dallat, who has been working with the family on the case, also met with police yesterday. He added that for too long the case was not "prioritised".

"I think for any parent who has waved a child off to travel abroad to broaden their horizons this case resonated and it certainly did with me at the time and since, I hope that we are now finally seeing progress for the sake of the Hauser family".

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