herald

Tuesday 20 November 2018

DNA leads to arrest of 'close friend' over Cameron's murder

The field near Dunleer, Co Louth, where the body of tragic teenager Cameron Reilly was discovered
The field near Dunleer, Co Louth, where the body of tragic teenager Cameron Reilly was discovered
Cameron Reilly

An 18-year-old man who has been arrested in relation to the strangulation murder of Cameron Reilly was a "close friend" of the victim, the Herald can reveal.

Sources said last night that the arrested teenager is the chief suspect in the case and no known motive has yet been established by detectives.

The suspect is being detained at Drogheda Garda Station. He can be held for 24 hours.

Cameron's body was found by a dog-walker in a field just outside of the town of Dunleer, Co Louth, on the morning of May 26.

The first-year college student has been remembered as "kind, polite and gentle".

Clothing

The 18-year-old male, who has no previous criminal convictions, was arrested in Dunleer early yesterday morning.

It emerged last weekend that gardai seized clothing and footwear from several of Cameron's friends, which is understood to have led to a vital DNA breakthrough in the case.

Gardai have not yet recovered Cameron's phone, despite extensive searches.

Detectives believe it holds the key to what exactly happened on the night he died.

A reservoir near to where he was found was drained in the search for the iPhone 8 Plus device, but nothing was uncovered.

Gardai have extensively interviewed all the friends of the Dundalk Institute of Technology student who were socialising with him on the night of his murder.

From the outset, gardai have believed that the answer to who was involved in Cameron's death lies close to the town of Dunleer.

They know that up to 20 youths in their late teens and early 20s were circulating and socialising in the area around the time of the highly unusual murder.

At Cameron's funeral earlier this month, roughly 1,000 mourners were told that death "seldom comes as shockingly, as cruelly or as poignantly as it has to Cameron".

The community of Dunleer had never had to deal with a tragedy like this before, parish priest Fr Michael Murtagh said.

"This is unprecedented," he added.

Fr Murtagh went on to say: "As far as we knew, Cameron was a well-balanced, good-living young man that any family could be proud of. He was very moderate in his habits and very quiet in his personality and his demeanour.

"Cameron's death raises some difficult questions and I do not want to avoid them today.

"I ask and appeal to our young people today to reflect thoughtfully on what has happened and to learn lessons from it."

He asked them to "examine the patterns of their lives and the direction they are going".

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