Millionaire dad gives £50,000 to reward fund in hunt for burial site of murdered woman

Millionaire dad gives £50,000 to reward fund in hunt for burial site of murdered woman

A multi-millionaire dad-of-six has donated £50,000 to boost a reward fund being offered for information about the burial site of a murdered woman.

The single donation was made on Wednesday by businessman Barrie Drewitt-Barlow to find the body of Lisa Dorrian.

He approached Lisa’s sister Joanne Dorrian from his base in the US, after spotting the Let’s Find Lisa campaign on Twitter.

Barrie said: “As a dad who lives for my children, I felt compelled to reach out and offer to help Lisa’s sister Joanne as I could see all the efforts her family have put into finding Lisa over the last number of years.

“I tried to imagine living in their shoes for a moment and I instantly knew that those were not shoes I would ever want to live in.”

Barrie Drewitt-Barlow
(
REX/Shutterstock)

Manchester-born Barrie became one of the UK’s most famous dads after he and now ex-husband Tony, became Britain’s first gay couple to be co-registered as parents, after welcoming twins Saffron and Aspen via surrogacy in 1999, followed by a son, Orlando.

They waited for 11 years and spent £1 million on their IVF journey,

Barrie said he has been moved by the Dorrian family’s ongoing dedication to Lisa 17 years after her murder at a caravan park in Ballyhalbert, Co Down.

Barrie confirmed he offered the £50,000 donation to boost the fund in a bid to draw out the last piece of information needed to lead the Dorrians to Lisa’s burial site. Only then will they be able to give the 25-year-old the dignified funeral they have wanted for her for years.

Barrie said: “I really hope this donation to their reward fund will encourage the person who knows where Lisa is to be brave and speak up.”

Lisa’s sister Joanne, a missing persons campaigner and victims advocate, said the donation came out of the blue and left her and her family stunned but elated.

She explained: “We started the reward fund just one week ago and we were delighted when the fund total got almost £9,000 which is fantastic.

Lisa Dorrian’s father John and her sisters Michelle (centre) and Joanne (right) sitting at a memorial bench to Lisa
(
PA)

“So we were overwhelmed when Barrie got in contact and offered £50,000 to the fund. It is just incredible, potentially life changing for someone.

“We would love to offer as much as possible to the person who lets us know where Lisa is, in the hope that they will see it as a way to pay for a fresh start knowing that they have given us peace and allowed Lisa the dignified burial and resting place that she so deserves.

Manchester-born Barrie was unaware of Lisa’s links to Manchester when he decided to step in. Both Lisa and her mum Pat were born in Oldham, Manchester and spent many happy years there before they moved to Northern Ireland together.

Barrie said: “Since I learned of the Manchester connection to Lisa’s family on her mum’s side, it has felt even nicer to be able to help people from my hometown. I would urge others to do the same.”

Sadly Pat Dorrian, overwhelmed by 10 years of grief for Lisa, died in 2015 aged 59.

She was buried in Clandeboye Cemetery, Bangor, and now it is hoped the reward will help encourage information to be imparted to allow shop assistant Lisa to be buried, 17 years after she was murdered and her body purposely disappeared to cover the tracks of her killer.

Lisa was last seen at a party at a caravan site in Ballyhalbert on 28 February 2005. Her death and the ongoing police investigation were recently the subject of a four-part BBC documentary series, ‘Murder In The Badlands.’

The family’s funding GoFundMe can be visited here.

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