Northern Ireland

Investigation into murder of teenager in Aughnacloy reopened

Police are to reopen the investigation into the murder of an 18-year-old woman whose body was found at the bottom of a quarry in County Tyrone, 40 years ago.

Marian Beattie lived in Portadown but had been at a charity dance at Hadden's Garage in Aughnacloy on 30 March 1973.

She was seen leaving the dance just after 1am with a young man.

Five hours later her partially-clothed body was found at the bottom of Hadden's Quarry between Aughnacloy and Ballygawley.

The investigation has been reopened after a review of the case by the PSNI's serious crime branch.

Det Insp Peter Montgomery said: "We believe Marian and a man left the dance at Hadden's Garage and went to the nearby car park at the top of Hadden's Quarry about 400 yards away which was frequented by courting couples.

"Something happened there but we have no evidence to suggest Marian was sexually assaulted."

Det Insp Montgomery said detectives were working to identify the man with whom Marian left the dance.

"If you are this man or you know who he is, please contact us," he said.

"I appreciate this happened a long time ago but we would like to talk to anyone who was at the dance at Hadden's Garage on the night of Friday 30 March 1973.

"Marian went there with a girlfriend to listen to her brother's band, but who was she dancing with and talking to? Did you see her leave Hadden's Garage? Did you see her at the car park at Hadden's Quarry sometime after 1.15am on the Saturday morning?

"In addition, do you remember someone coming home from that dance in a distressed or dishevelled state, with perhaps dust or dirt on their clothes? Or has anyone ever talked about the events of that night?"

DUP councillor Sammy Brush said the murder of Marian Beattie had caused a "great shock" in the Aughnacloy area.

"It would be a great thing both for the family of Marian and for the community here to have this cleared up and to see someone brought to justice for it," he added.

"I had hoped that the police with the advancement of forensic science and things like that that there was something more than trying to rely on people's memories, because if it wasn't recorded at the time it will be very difficult to go back 40 years now and remember precise details."

Detectives can be contacted on 028 90 700727 or 07585228283.