Arlene Arkinson: Police say nothing suspicious found at new dig site

Arlene Arkinson (15) disappeared in August 1994 after a night out in Co Donegal
Staff Reporter

A NEW search for missing Tyrone schoolgirl Arlene Arkinson sparked when a farmer uncovered what he said looked like a shallow grave has been ended after nothing suspicious was found.

Specialist search teams moved onto a site near the village of Killen, Co Tyrone, on Friday after farmer Noel Doherty said he found what he said looked like a shallow grave on a plot of land he rents.

A team of specialists from England spent much of Friday looking at the site close to where the schoolgirl was last seen in the company of convicted child killer Robert Howard.

Arlene (15) disappeared in August 1994 after a night out in Co Donegal.

She was last seen being driven down Scraghy Road, close to where the new search is being conducted, late at night with paedophile Howard.

It is believed grazing cattle may have eaten away nettles and grass to reveal the suspicious plot,

However a PSNI spokesman said on Saturday afternoon nothing had been found.

"The police search operation at Killen in Co Tyrone has ended," the spokesman said.

"Nothing suspicious has been found and the Arkinson family have been updated."

Robert Howard was acquitted of Arlene's murder in 2005 by a jury that was not made aware of his lengthy criminal history which included killing another teenager, Hannah Williams, in south London several years earlier.

However, he remained the prime suspect in the unsolved case until his death in an English prison last year.

There have been more than 40 extensive searches conducted in forested areas, fire dams, reservoirs and remote farmland in counties Tyrone, Fermanagh and Donegal but so far, Arlene's body has not been recovered.

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