21 May 2006

Lisa link to shallow grave is ruled out

Sunday Life

By Ashleigh Wallace
21 May 2006

Detectives linked to the team investigating the murder of Bangor woman Lisa Dorrian were called to a top-secret meeting in Belfast after a shallow grave was discovered in her home town.

Officers involved in the investigation attended a meeting in the city after the suspected grave was discovered in a wooded area behind the Fitness First complex on the West Circular Road.

However, Lisa's sister Joanne last night revealed the family have been assured the search at the site of the former Clandeboye Shopping Centre is not linked to Lisa (25).

She said: "We have had numerous phone calls from people asking about the search but we've been told by the police that it's definitely nothing to do with Lisa.

"We still believe she was dumped at sea."

The alarm was raised around 4pm on Thursday by a member of the public.

The woodland - which backs on to the grounds of Rathgael Juvenile Justice Centre - was immediately cordoned off

The search has concentrated on an area beside a small lake.

Yesterday, a specialist police team moved in and were accompanied by an archaeology liaison officer. The search is due to resume today.

A police source revealed: "The earth which collapsed is around six feet by two feet and is exactly the same shape as a grave.

"There's definitely something down there."

It is understood the area was searched by police last year in connection with the search for Lisa's body.

The pretty blonde disappeared after attending a party in a caravan park in Ballyhalbert in February 2005.

Since the shop assistant vanished, Lisa's family have campaigned tirelessly for her killers to reveal where her body is buried.

A police spokeswoman confirmed a search was taking place but would not reveal any further details.

North Down DUP Assemblymember Alex Easton said people were worried.

"There's a lot of anxiety in the local community at the reports that there could be a shallow grave and body," he said.

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