Man held over girl's death five years ago

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A man was arrested in England last night, after police discovered the body of a 13-year-old schoolgirl in Belfast who has been missing for five years.

The body of Sonia Forsythe, who disappeared near her home on the Shankill Road in Belfast in 1991, was found wrapped in a carpet at the bottom of a coal bunker in the yard in the to where she had lived.

It was discovered by a workman who was carrying out renovations to the house. The police had removed contents from the same house last month, for forensic tests, in several polythene sacks.

Sonia, who lived in one of the most staunchly loyalist areas of Belfast, disappeared after a spending a day playing with friends. Despite a series of local and national appeals to trace her, she was never found.

The Royal Ulster expressed "deep concern" immediately after her disappearance. Officers took part in a massive search of Northern Ireland and the mainland, and several local men were interviewed, but no arrests were made.

Superintendent Sam Kinkaid, a detective with the RUC, said they had carried out the recent forensic tests because the tests had not been available at the time of Sonia's disappearance. He said it was too early to establish the cause of death.