Detectives launch murder probe

Mark Gourley.
Mark Gourley.

Police investigating the disappearance of a 36-year-old man in Newtownabbey more than four years ago have launched a murder investigation.

Mark Gourley from Carrickfergus was reported missing on March 7, 2009. He was last seen in the Burney’s Lane area of Glengormley.

As a result of new evidence, police have launched a murder inquiry and have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

Mark was around 5ft, 9” tall, described as ‘well-built’, around 10-11stone; he had short dirty fair cropped hair and an eyebrow bolt in his right eyebrow. The last time he was seen he was wearing a black zipped jacket with a grey motif on the back of the shoulders, dark Umbro tracksuit bottoms, black trainers and may have been wearing a blue Glasgow Rangers woollen hat.

“Mark was a vulnerable individual and was on medication at the time of his disappearance.

“We are appealing to anyone who may have information about Mark’s disappearance or who may have seen him on or after March 7, 2009 to contact police on 028 9025 9542,” a PSNI spokesperson said.

“While Mark was last seen in the Glengormley area (at around 2.30pm) he was from the Castlemara area of Carrickfergus and he may have returned to that area on March 7, 2009. Police are asking for anyone who may have noticed vehicles or individuals acting suspiciously in either the Burney’s Lane area of Glengormley or in the Castlemara area of Carrickfergus around March 7, 2009 to contact police.

“Police believe that there are people in these communities who have knowledge of what has happened to Mark. People may have heard rumours about what happened to Mark. We would appeal to them to share this information with police. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers by telephoning 0800 555 111.”