Jean Hanlon was found dead at Heraklion harbour in Crete in March 2009 but a long-running case has failed to find out how she came to harm.
The Sunday Mail can now reveal a theory by legal experts that the main suspect in the case – who has never been traced – may have met Jean, 53, on the internet.
It comes after last week’s revelation that her death was murder but there’s not enough evidence to prosecute.
The lawyer acting for Jean’s family has told how police have not examined Jean’s online activity to determine if she had met someone online and, 14 years later, all records have been erased.
Solicitor Apostolos Xiritakis, who believes the case would have been solved by now had it been passed to a murder squad, said: “The only forensic evidence we have are the documents from her posthumous exam but, 14 years later, no new forensic evidence can be found. We know for sure Jean met someone and the night she was lost she was meeting someone.
“We still have questions about the research Jean carried out on the internet looking to find a companion. But all her data from these sites has been gone since 2011 because these companies only keep data for two years.
“Police checked her phone and couldn’t find any communication about the meeting. So this might have been organised through a meeting site. The man she met has never been traced and he is the main suspect.”
The mum-of-three had moved from her home in Dumfries to start a new life in 2005 but police initially dismissed her death as an accidental drowning.
It was only after pressure from her family that a second post-mortem revealed she had suffered a broken neck, shattered ribs, a punctured lung and facial injuries.
Police re-examined the case in 2019 after a documentary highlighted her sons’ search for justice. In March 2021 Greek police launched a third probe. The case was passed to the Greek Department of Organised Crime, who have concluded a crime took place which led to the death.
Apostolos, based in Crete, added: “Jean’s internet searches should have been researched at the time by police.”
Michael Porter, Jean’s youngest son, said: “She had to know the man she was with as there were no communications with anyone that we could find and our mum wrote a very detailed daily diary.”
Neither the Hellenic Police nor the ministry of justice in Greece responded to our requests for comment.
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