herald

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Killer 'lured Cameron to death then took his phone to hide evidence'

Flowers have been left near where the body was found. Photo: Collins
Flowers have been left near where the body was found. Photo: Collins

Gardai are investigating if teenager Cameron Reilly was lured to his death by someone he trusted over the phone, it has emerged.

The murder victim's missing mobile phone is expected to prove crucial to the garda investigation, as it may help identify the killer.

A senior source last night told the Herald that gardai are probing whether Cameron's iPhone 8 was taken from the scene to remove any trace of a text message or phone call made before the killing.

Detectives believe that this was done as the killer, or a person working with the killer, lured Cameron to the field where he was murdered.

Violent

The college student's body was discovered on Saturday morning in a field in Dunleer, Co Louth, by a man walking his dog.

A post-mortem examination confirmed that Cameron suffered a violent death.

He was strangled and subjected to a vicious assault before his body was left in the field for several hours.

Sources say Cameron had a disagreement with somebody on Friday night while socialising with a group of local youths, and that this may have been the trigger to set the murder in motion.

"Cameron was a quiet lad who wouldn't go looking for trouble or invite himself into it, but he was lured to that field by someone he trusted, and whatever app or call that was used to do that could have left a trace on his phone, and that is why the phone is missing," said one local source.

While gardai have spoken with many of the people who were out with Cameron on Friday night, they are still anxious to talk to others and to find the missing Apple iPhone, which could yield vital evidence.

Gardai have confirmed they are doing a fingertip forensic search of the field where Cameron was found, and are following a number of potential leads.

They are also continuing to appeal to any of Cameron's friends who have heard what may have happened to him to come forward in strictest confidence.

Gardai further appealed for people near to the crime scene to assist in the search for the victim's missing phone.

"We would ask home and business owners in Dunleer to check their property, including wheelie bins and waste skips," Inspector John O'Flaherty said.

"We would also ask anyone offered a phone for sale as described to contact us."

Joe Torris, a friend of Cameron's family also made a heartfelt appeal for information yesterday.

"It doesn't matter what you did, or what you saw… so if you've seen something and if you're scared, step up. Say it to me, say it to the gardai, say it to your parents, say it to your guardians… step forward. You need to be brave," he said.

Investigators are hopeful that DNA evidence will play a role in helping to find the person who inflicted the fatal injuries on Cameron.

Yesterday, the Herald revealed a female teenager was being investigated for playing a possible role in the murder.

A group of up to 20 male and female teenagers had been drinking and socialising in the area the day before his body was discovered.

However, gardai believe that only a small number of teenagers were present when the murder happened.

Horrific

On Monday, youths could be seen escorting gardai around the field where Cameron's body was found. Friends of Cameron were still deeply upset yesterday over the horrific incident.

"I used to be his best friend when we were in school together," said one young woman.

"He was always very quiet and had so many friends, many of them being girls. He never once got himself into trouble and was as loyal as they come.

"I've been crying all day and just can't get my head around what happened."

CCTV footage from a local takeaway, not far from where his body was discovered, shows the last known movements of the young man.

In a heartbreaking Facebook post over the weekend, Cameron's mother, Tracy Glass, thanked the local community of Dunleer while paying tribute to her son.

"Thank you to each and every one of you, our hearts are broken in a million pieces. My beautiful son, love you to the moon and back," Ms Glass wrote.

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