Man released on bail amid German backpacker murder probe

A man has been released on bail after questioning about the murder of a German backpacker in Northern Ireland 30 years ago.

The body of Munich teenager Inga Maria Hauser was found dumped in a remote part of Ballypatrick Forest, outside Ballycastle, Co Antrim, 14
days after she was last seen alive on a ferry from Scotland.

The 18-year-old's death in April 1988 remains one of the region's most high-profile unsolved murders.

The suspect, aged 61, was held in the Loughguile area of Co Antrim early on Monday morning and later released pending further police inquiries. A man aged 58 is still being questioned.

Inga Maria Hauser
The teenager went missing after taking a ferry to Larne from Scotland (PSNI/PA)

The arrests come weeks after a much-publicised series of appeals to mark the 30th anniversary of the murder.

In April, detectives said they believed a number of people may have been involved either directly in the murder or in the subsequent cover-up, and said they only need fractional pieces of evidence to bring the chief suspects to justice.

Police have a male genetic profile found at the murder scene.

A number of years ago, in one of the largest DNA screenings ever undertaken in the UK, 2,000 samples failed to produce a definitive match.

The scene at Ballypatrick Forest in Co Antrim where the body of 18-year-old Inga Maria Hauser was found
The scene at Ballypatrick Forest in Co Antrim where the body of 18-year-old Inga Maria Hauser was found on April 20 1988 (PSNI)

Prior to her death, Ms Hauser had travelled through England and Scotland and, according to diary entries, intended to travel south to Dublin when she docked at Larne, Co Antrim.

But for reasons as yet unexplained, she ended up going in the opposite direction and was found dead in remote woodland two weeks later.

It is understood the IRA carried out its own investigation into the killing 30 years ago.

It is believed republican paramilitaries had considered passing information about the alleged murderer to the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) at the height of the Troubles, but did not follow through.

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