Northern Ireland

Kevin Kearney murder: Police renew appeal for information on anniversary

Kevin Kearney
Image caption The 46-year-old was found dead in a lake in Alexandra Park, off the Antrim Road on 9 October, a day after he went missing

Police investigating the murder of Kevin Kearney in north Belfast have renewed their appeal for information on the first anniversary of his death.

The 46-year-old was found dead in a lake in Alexandra Park, off the Antrim Road on 9 October, a day after he had set off to walk his dog.

He had been shot.

Ten people have been arrested, more than 20 searches conducted and more than 200 people interviewed as part of the inquiry.

'Ruthless murder'

Police said those figures included a linked investigation into an incident at a social club in Ardoyne on 14 October in which dissident republican threats were made to a number of individuals.

The officer leading the investigation, Det Ch Insp Justyn Galloway, said it was a "challenging enquiry".

"There is a potential drugs strand to this and there is a dissident republican strand. These two components have slowed the flow of information to the major investigation team," he said.

"I would ask people to remember that Kevin Kearney was a father and a brother, a friend and a partner.

"His ruthless murder has caused so much pain and grief - emotions which remain as raw today as they were a year ago.

Image caption Police have appealed for anyone who saw Mr Kearney in Alexandra Park or a BMX-type bike on 8 October 2013 to contact them

"Kevin's family and friends deserve answers. They also deserve justice. We are working to secure these objectives but we need more assistance from the community."

The officer said police were appealing to members of the public in the Alexandra Park area if they recognised a BMX-type bike or knew who owned it.

Police believe the Vortex Scorpion bike may have been used by someone involved in the shooting.

'Reluctant to talk'

Detectives said they also needed more information about a silver Peugeot 406 car, registration number GNZ 8168, which police believe may have been connected to the murder.

It was set on fire at Donore Court in the New Lodge area about 09:30 BST on Tuesday 8 October.

Police want to hear from anyone who saw it in the Alexandra Avenue/Antrim Road area on the morning of 8 October.

They also want to speak to anyone who saw Mr Kearney with his dogs in Alexandra Park between 08:45 BST and 09:15 BST on the morning of 8 October.

They are particularly interested in talking to anyone who was running in the park.

"Kevin Kearney's family need answers and police need assistance to bring his killers before the courts, " DCI Galloway said.

"Last year, Kevin's family urged people who had information but were reluctant to talk to police to use other channels of communication, perhaps a priest or a solicitor or a political representative.

"Police don't mind how the information reaches us but we need information if we are to make significant progress."

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