11 June 2023

Murder probe launched after suspected human remains found in Chloe Mitchell case

11 June 2023

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Co Antrim woman Chloe Mitchell have launched a murder inquiry after suspected human remains were found in Ballymena.

Ms Mitchell, 21, was last seen on CCTV in the early hours of Saturday June 3 in Ballymena town centre.

Two men arrested in connection with the case remained in police custody on Sunday night.

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Millar, of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said: “Sadly, today detectives have recovered suspected human remains in Ballymena, and while there has been no formal identification, we have now launched a murder inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of 21-year-old Chloe Mitchell, who was a high-risk, missing person.

“Earlier this week, we launched a criminal investigation into Chloe’s disappearance. Tragically, we now have reason to believe that Chloe was murdered.

“Our thoughts this evening are very much with Chloe’s family and we have specialist officers providing them with support at this heart-breaking time.”

Forensic officers attended a flat in the James Street area of Ballymena on Sunday evening. The property had been cordoned off by police earlier in the week.

The discovery comes after extensive searches across Ballymena over recent days.

A 26-year-old man arrested on Thursday in Lurgan, Co Armagh, in connection with the police investigation, continued to be questioned on Sunday after officers on Saturday secured a 36-hour extension to his detention period.

A second man, 34, was detained in the Ballymena area on Saturday. He also remained in custody on Sunday.

Mr Millar added: “I would like to thank the community in Ballymena and the search and rescue teams for their help in trying to find Chloe.”

Members of the Community Rescue Service (CRS) assisted police in the major search operation in Ballymena.

In a statement on Sunday night, the volunteer-based organisation said: “The CRS would like to thank the people of Ballymena, those who live and work in the Harryville area and especially Chloe’s family and friends for their exceptional support during our operations.”

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