Fresh appeal in Ballymena murder investigation

Police investigating the murder of Ballymena woman Shirley Finlay, have today reissued their appeal for information.

The 24-year-old woman’s body was discovered in a car park in the Mount Street area of Ballymena town centre on September 19. She had been strangled.

Police have today issued a more detailed appeal for information about the victim’s last movements and items of her clothing which are still missing.

Detectives say they have had a good response from members of the public to earlier appeals but they need the following information to help their investigation.

They need to locate items of Shirley’s clothing which include her footwear, possibly trainers, and jeans or black track bottoms.

They also need assistance from people specifically in the Harryville area of Ballymena who may have seen Shirley on the afternoon or evening of Monday September 18 with a six ft tall, slim male with dark hair in his late 20s or early 30s. Detective Chief Inspector Tom Woods said: “The people of Ballymena have given a good response to our initial appeal for information. Our team of detectives are following up those leads but we need additional help from the community.

“Shirley was found wrapped in a duvet in Mount Street car park with a grey fleece but we don’t know where her shoes and trousers are. If they’ve been dumped somewhere, we need to find them.

“We have also had a number of sightings of her in the Harryville area with a tall, slim man with dark hair. We need this man to come forward.

“Shirley suffered a horrific death and police are determined to bring her killer to justice. We have additional officers on the ground to try to glean information from people who may have seen Shirley last Monday or Tuesday in Ballymena town centre or at Harryville.”

DCI Woods added: “We have printed posters and leaflets with Shirley’s photo and we are putting a mobile police station at the Mount Street car park where her body was found.

“We have issued a photo of Shirley to help with our appeal but in it she has dark hair. We would remind the public that Shirley’s hair had been dyed blonde when she was last seen alive. She was five ft tall, of slim to average build and was wearing a grey fleece.

“This was a brutal murder but people should not be frightened. We would advise people to think and act sensibly. If they have any concerns, they should contact police and we will take appropriate action.

“While we are progressing several lines of enquiry involving a number of sophisticated techniques, I would once again ask the public to come forward with information to help us in our efforts.”

Anyone with information should contact detectives in the incident room at Ballymena on 0845 600 8000 or use the anonymous Crimestoppers number on 0800 555 111.


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