Glasgow & West Scotland

Elaine Doyle's father appeals in 'cold case' murder

Elaine Doyle
Image caption A post-mortem examination revealed that Elaine had been strangled

The father of a teenage girl who was murdered in Greenock, Inverclyde, has made a fresh appeal for information on the 25th anniversary of her death.

Jack Doyle's 16-year-old daughter, Elaine, was last seen alive by friends in the town's Hamilton Way shortly after midnight on 2 June 1986.

Her body was found that morning in a lane off Ardgowan Street, yards from where her family home was.

A post-mortem examination later revealed that she had been strangled.

The teenager left her home on the evening of Sunday 1 June to attend a local disco in Laird Street with her friends.

Public holiday

She telephoned her father about 2030 BST from the club to let him know that she would be home for 0030 BST.

When the disco finished, Elaine and her three friends went to a mobile hamburger stall in nearby Cathcart Street.

The stall and surrounding area were busy as the next day was a public holiday.

Shortly after midnight, Elaine left the company of her friends and started to walk towards her family home in Ardgowan Street in Greenock's West End.

Minutes later she met two female friends and paused briefly to chat with them in Hamilton Way. She then continued her journey on foot.

Elaine never arrived home and this was the last time she was seen alive.

About 0730 BST, a local man on his way to work found Elaine's partially clothed body lying in undergrowth, within 50 yards of her family home.

The only item taken from the scene was Elaine's blue handbag. This was found a week later on the steps of the town's Watt Library. It had been fire damaged.

At a news conference on Thursday, Elaine's father, Jack Doyle, read a statement appealing for information to help find her killer.

Family heartbreak

He said: "For Maureen (Elaine's mother) and I, time has not healed the wounds.

"The passage of time teaches you to cope with the heartbreak but as any parent who has lost a child will know, the pain Maureen and I feel on a daily basis is as real as when we first received that awful news.

"What Maureen and I are asking for today is for answers to these questions. Elaine was so young and had so much to offer others. We have been robbed of the opportunity to watch her grow into adulthood and become a mother herself.

Image caption Elaine Doyle's body was found yards from her family home in Greenock

"We know nothing can bring Elaine back to us but if we could just have some of our questions answered then I know that this would bring us some comfort and make our daily lives just that bit more bearable."

Mr Doyle asked anyone with any information to contact police.

Det Insp John Dearie, from Strathclyde Police, said advances in technology may help officers track down Elaine's killer.

He said: "On the 25th anniversary of Elaine's murder I am appealing directly to any person who has held any suspicion, no matter how trivial it may seem, that someone they know may have been involved in Elaine's death to share their suspicions with us.

"Scientific advances surrounding DNA now allow us to quickly eliminate anyone from our investigation.

"Elaine's parents, Jack and Maureen, have lived with the loss of their daughter for 25 years now and it would mean the world to them to discover who murdered Elaine and why."

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