Fresh search for Arlene Arkinson

A fresh search for a Castlederg teenager who disappeared in 1994 is to begin next month.

A fresh search for a Castlederg teenager who disappeared in 1994 is to begin next month.

Arlene Arkinson was 15 years-old when she was last seen after attending a disco in Bundoran. Convicted killer, child abuser and rapist Robert Howard (67) was charged with her murder but was acquitted.

Police are now to conduct an extensive search for the missing teenager’s body, having postponed a search last January due to severe weather conditions.

This Saturday marks the 17th anniversary of the schoolgirl’s disappearance.

Arlene’s sister Kathleen Arkinson said last night that she wants her family’s pain finally “brought to an end”. “It’s been heartbreaking for us all these years, we can’t give up, we won’t give up. All we want is to bring Arlene home and bury her with her mother and father and her sister Mary,” she said.

Kathleen said she has been assured by police that the search is “not going to be just for one day or for two”. She is due to meet the officers heading up the investigation tomorrow (Wednesday) when full details of the search are to be revealed.

She added: “We only need one clue to help us find Arlene.” Kathleen has been waiting anxiously for a decision on when the fresh searches would go ahead since January.

Robert Howard was acquitted of murdering Arlene Arkinson in 2005. The trial jury was unaware that at the time Howard was already serving a life sentence for killing 14-year-old Hannah Williams from south London.

Kathleen has often appealed to her sister’s suspected killer to tell them where he buried Arlene, so she can be laid to rest.