Northern Ireland news

Police Ombudsman to look at PSNI response to missing teenager Matthew McCallan

Matthew McCallan (15) was found dead yesterday
Rebecca Black, PA

The Police Ombudsman is set to examine the search for a missing teenager who was found dead.

Matthew McCallan, 15, had been missing from the Dungannon area since the early hours of Sunday.

His body was found in the Tattyreagh Road area of Fintona around noon yesterday, around two miles from a social event he had been attending on Saturday night.

Police are continuing to examine the circumstances around the teenager’s death.

Detective Superintendent Gareth Talbot said police have decided to make a notification to the Police Ombudsman due to family concerns.

Read more: Schoolboy found dead described as "full of potential"

Two senior officers are also to meet the McCallan family.

“Our thoughts remain with Matthew’s devastated family. The pain they are experiencing is difficult to comprehend. A number of specially trained officers are providing support to them at this tragic time,” he said.

“We are aware of the family’s concerns regarding the initial police response in the search for Matthew and the family have agreed to meet two senior officers to discuss.

“Due to the family’s concerns we have decided at an early stage to make a notification to the Office of the Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland, for their assessment.”

A post mortem examination was due to take place today.

Det Supt Talbot said police are keeping an open mind in the investigation, and made an appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

“Matthew was last seen at approximately 1.20am in the Ecclesville Centre, Fintona, and we are keen to establish his movements after this time,” he said.

“Police received a report of a missing person shortly after 3.30am on Sunday December 4, when Matthew did not arrive home after attending an event in Fintona on Saturday night.

“Sadly Matthew was discovered in a ditch in the laneway of a property approximately two miles away from the social event at around 11.45am yesterday.

“Enquiries have now ruled out speculation which circulated on social media that Matthew was seen getting into a silver car. We have now identified and spoken to the occupants of the car and eliminated them from our enquiries.

“I would appeal to anyone who saw Matthew or anyone who has CCTV or dashcam footage, to contact police on 101, quoting 319 of 04/12/22.”

Northern Ireland news