Police investigating the murder of Drumduff police constable Ronan Kerr have asked the public to help identify a potential suspect in connection with the killing.
Launching a renewed appeal for information in Omagh police station this morning, Detective Supt Raymond Murray, who is leading the investigation, asked the public to help pinpoint the identity of a man wearing a grey hoody in the vicinity of Ronan Kerr’s Highfield residence the night before he was killed.
Detective Supt Murray said the man, who was seen standing in the proximity of the Gortin Road’s speed limit signs between 22.50 and 23.20 on Friday April 1 2011, could be a potential suspect or an extremely important witness in the investigation.
25-year-old Constable Kerr died after a booby-trap bomb exploded under his car in Highfield Close at 4pm on Saturday 2 April last year as he left his apartment to go to work in Enniskillen.
Police have also released details on 11 unidentified vehicles in the vicinity of Highfield Close in the days leading up to the murder and on the day itself. The vehicles are shown on this map, accompanied by this key.
“These vehicles and the man are significant for one of two reasons. They are either valuable witnesses or potential suspects. That is why we need anyone who knows anything about these appeals to come forward so that we can progress the investigation,” said Detective Supt Murray.
Detective Supt Murray said the active investigation into Ronan Kerr’s death has become the second largest police investigation since the 1998 Omagh bomb.
He said police have linked nine other incidents since the investigation began nine months ago, while police investigating the murder have carried out 56 searches and made 10 arrests, with one person charged with munitions found close to Lough Neagh, which he said police were treating as a “linked incident”.
“”This is a long-term investigation with Ronan Kerr’s murder at its core but incorporating several linked incidents. It is an extremely large investigation which, as we said at the outset, will rely on detail to succeed and can be progressed with continuing support from the community,” said Detective Supt Murray.
The lead investigator said the Serious Crime Branch had learned a lot about dissident republican networks within the past ten months, helping identify personalities within the dissident movement.
“We have identified areas in which we believe they have units, we have identified some of the methodology in which they work. We have learned a lot about them in the last ten months and we will continue to strive to learn everything we can.”
The PSNI have asked anyone with information to call 028 8225 6687 which will connect callers directly to the special incident room in Omagh. It will be staffed from 9am to 9pm. Outside these times, a messaging service will be available.
A £50,000 reward remains on offer from the independent charity Crimestoppers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Ronan’s murder.