Carryduff baby: DNA samples destroyed

Published Date: 30.06.2003

The Police Ombudsman, Mrs. Nuala O'Loan, has said all the DNA samples taken during the investigation into the death of an infant last year have now been destroyed.

In an unusual step, the Police Service of Northern Ireland asked the Police Ombudsman's support for its investigation following the discovery of the murdered body of an infant girl in Carryduff in March 2002

The child's body, which had multiple stab wounds, was found in a black bin bag by children in an area known as Duck Walk in Carryduff on March 26. The police believed the body might have been there for several weeks.

As part of their efforts to trace the baby's mother, detectives launched a campaign to voluntarily screen females in the area between the ages of 13 and 45 for DNA.

However, while they gave an undertaking to destroy all samples that do not relate to the child's DNA profile, police were concerned that some women might have been reluctant to come forward for fear that the information may be retained for other purposes.

Detectives turned to the Police Ombudsman's Office for help. The Police Ombudsman, Mrs. Nuala O'Loan issued a public statement in which she gave an assurance that her Office would oversee the destruction of all the DNA samples.

"My officers were present when the samples were destroyed and records deleted. I can give an assurance to all those women who cooperated with the police that their DNA has not been kept, nor have records of them been retained on any database," said Mrs. O'Loan.


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