A sympathy card sent to the family of Paul McCauley following the funeral last week, could be instrumental in identifying those responsible for his murder, police have said.
Police investigating the murder say they have begun following a definite line of inquiry since the card was received.
Mr McCauley died on June 6, nine years after being so badly beaten by a gang at a barbecue in the city that he suffered catastrophic injuries and never regained consciousness.
Now Foyle police say they have examined what they called ‘vital information’ contained in a sympathy card and they have appealed for the person who sent it to get in touch.
Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey said: “I would specifically like to ask one person, who wrote to Mr Jim McCauley expressing their sympathy and disgust at the attack on Paul, to please contact the detectives at Maydown, as I believe they hold vital information in relation to this investigation.”
Father of one, Mr McCauley was 30 years old when he was beaten by a gang at a barbecue in the Waterside. The beating left him in a vegetative state and being cared for round the clock in a care home.
Speaking to the media this week, Mr McCauley’s father, Jim, said the family had received hundreds of cards after Paul’s death, but this particular sympathy card was of interest because there was a feeling contained in it that the individual who sent it might have further information about what happened.
“There may be another facet to the investigation that this individual may be aware of, Mr McCauley said.
Mr McCauley appealed for the person to either speak to Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey or to contact him or any member of the family.
He went on to say that he had been disappointed that people were holding crucial information and had not cooperated with the police inquiry.
“I find that in a crime so horrendous the silence in both communities is appalling, and a sad reflection being tolerated by the good people in those communities that they cannot lever the truth out from the people.
Around 15 detectives are working on the murder case.