Devastated family still hopes to find body of teenage daughter murdered 30 years ago

Devastated family still hopes to find body of teenage daughter murdered 30 years ago

THE body of murdered teenager Arlene Arkinson has yet to be found as the 30-year anniversary of her tragic death approaches.

The 15-year-old was last seen leaving her home in Castlederg, Co. Tyrone on August 14, 1994 to attend a disco in Bundoran.

The teenager never returned and her body has never been found, but an inquest held in 2021 ruled that she was abducted and murdered by serial killer and rapist Robert Howard.

One of the posters issued when Arlene first went missing

The tragic case features in this week’s edition of Marú inár Measc (Murderers Among Us) on TG4.

In it Arlene’s family, as well as journalists who covered her disappearance, speak out about the tragedy.

“In what was one of the worst years of, in terms of fatalities, of the Troubles, 1994 was also the first step in a long road to peace in the North of Ireland,” TG4 state.

“That year the IRA declared their first ceasefire, but in the border town of Castlederg, Co. Tyrone, there was wolf in sheep’s clothing amongst the flock,” they add.

“Robert Howard, nicknamed the Wolf Man of Wolfhill, was known to the authorities across three jurisdictions with a history of a litany of sexual offences and crimes on the islands of Ireland and Britain.

"Little did the people of Castlederg know that this was the same man who had befriended a group of teenagers in their small market town.”

Speaking in the show Arlene’s sister Kathleen Arkinson, who was one of the last people to see her before she disappeared, reveals that the torment of that night still haunts her.

“I just wished that I could’ve changed that night” Kathleen says.

The Tyrone teen was last seen in 1994 driving down a country road with Robert Howard. (Source: PSNI)

Arlene left Kathleen’s house the night of August 14 after babysitting for her while Kathleen went to the local Bingo.

Arlene had been invited by another local teen, Donna Quinn, to a disco over the border in Bundoran, Co. Donegal.

She left that night in a car with Donna, Donna’s boyfriend Sean and Robert Howard who drove the car.

“This would be the last time that Arlene would be seen by her family and nearly 30 years later they still search for her, hoping one day to bury her remains along with their parents,” TG4 state.

The documentary also features interviews with the Arkinson family solicitor Des Doherty, who, alongside the family, saw justice prevail with the result of the inquest in 2021 after a 15-year legal battle.

Marú inár Measc S3 – Dúnmharú Arlene Arkinson (The Murder of Arlene Arkinson) airs on TG4 Wednesday, March 29 at 9.30pm and will be available to view on TG4 Player.