Northern Ireland

Police reopen Carrickfergus murder case

Charlie Strain was found dead in his flat
Image caption Charlie Strain was found dead in his flat

Police have reopened an investigation into the murder of Charlie Strain, a shift worker found beaten in his flat in Carrickfergus in June 1998.

Mr Strain, 28, was last seen getting out of a taxi on Sunday, 31 May 1998, to walk to his flat at Carnhill Walk in the town where he lived alone.

He was due at work at a local meat processing plant on the Monday.

His body was discovered by his father on the Wednesday after he had failed to turn up for work.

Concerned that his son had not turned up for work, Charles Strain Sr called at the flat.

When he got no reply, he forced entry and discovered his son lying dead on the settee in the living room.

Brutal beating

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Media captionDetective Inspector Peter Montgomery wishes to speak to those who made 999 calls

Charles Strain Jr had received fatal injuries as a result of a brutal beating to his head and body.

An investigation was carried out at the time and a renewed appeal for information was made in 2003.

A number of individuals were arrested but no-one has been charged in connection with Charlie Strain's murder.

As the 15th anniversary of the murder approaches, detectives have reviewed the case and decided to re-open the investigation.

Detectives are appealing again to anyone with information about the attack to come forward.

Three 999 calls were made on Monday 1 June about an assault at different addresses within the Carnhill Walk block of flats, but nothing suspicious was found.

Three phone calls

Public telephone boxes at Bridewell Drive and Oakfield Drive in Carrick were used to make the calls.

Police want to know the identities of the men who made the three calls.

Investigators also want to speak with anyone who saw Charlie Strain on the evening of Sunday 31 May, the last night he was seen alive.

They want to talk to anyone who saw or spoke to Mr Strain in Chandlers Bar in Carrickfergus or later at the Tourist Inn at Eden.

The officer leading the renewed investigation, Detective Inspector Peter Montgomery, said: "We have a number of pieces of evidence which lead me to believe that progress can still be made in this case, despite the passage of time.

"I believe there are people still in the area who know those responsible for the attack on Charlie which led to his death and who know about the events leading up to his death."