Northern Ireland news

Grandmother of Saoirse Smyth appeals for closure as searches continue

Vera Smyth brought Saoirse up from the age of four. Picture by UTV

THE grandmother of Saoirse Smyth - feared murdered and buried secretly - has appealed for her body to be given up.

Ms Smyth (28) was last seen in April 2017 and her body has never been found.

The PSNI announced in July 2018 that the case was being upgraded to a murder investigation.

Garda and PSNI officers are searching part of a forest close to the border for the missing west Belfast woman.

Garda officers previously assisted detectives from Northern Ireland in carrying out an examination of a house in Omeath in July 2018 where it is believed Saoirse may have been living prior to her murder.

Specialist forensic teams were called in to search for traces of blood and other DNA with police believing she may have been killed at the property and her body taken elsewhere.

In an interview with UTV News, Vera Smyth told of how she raised Saoirse from the age of four following the death of her mother.

"It's unreal just thinking about it, I mean whoever killed her, have they no conscience?" she asked.

"Do they not think what they're putting their people through? And we have to go through this day in and day out wondering where she is, not knowing where she is.

"Was she shot, was she stabbed, was she strangled? You don't know what. And if her body's going to be found, what way is it going to be? You just don't know. Put a closure to this, please put a closure to it."

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