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Chloe Mitchell

Brandon John Rainey charged with murder of Co Antrim woman Chloe Mitchell

Both men appeared in court in Ballymena this morning.

LAST UPDATE | 12 Jun 2023

DETECTIVES INVESTIGATING THE murder and disappearance of Co Antrim woman Chloe Mitchell have charged two men in connection with the case.

Brandon John Rainey, 26, from James Street in Ballymena, appeared via video link at Ballymena Magistrates’ Court today where he was charged with murdering Mitchell between 2 and 5 June.

Rainey wore a grey sweatshirt and, when asked if he understood the charge, replied: “Yeah.”

A PSNI detective inspector told the court she can connect the accused to the charge.

A barrister for the defendant said his client has “acute mental health difficulties”.

No application for bail was made.

The lawyer said his client denies the allegation against him.

District Judge Peter King said: “Mr Rainey appears charged with the most serious offence in the criminal canon.”

Rainey was remanded in custody until 6 July.

ballymena People outside Ballymena Court House today. PA PA

Ryan Johnston Gordon, 34, from Nursery Close, Ballymena, also appeared in court charged with attempting to impede justice by concealing evidence around the alleged murder of Chloe Mitchell.

Counsel for Gordon said he wanted to “echo similar sentiments to my colleague” in terms of his client, adding: “There are mental health difficulties.”

Gordon was also remanded into custody following the brief mention at the court. 

The court heard a bail application will be made next week on Tuesday. 

A murder inquiry was launched yesterday following the discovery of “suspected human remains” in the Ballymena area. 

Chloe Mitchell was missing for over a week, and was considered a high-risk missing person by the PSNI. 

The 21-year-old was last seen on CCTV in the early hours of Saturday 3 June in Ballymena town centre.

Extensive searches were carried out in the locality by the PSNI and volunteers, including Ballymena search and rescue teams.

Forensic officers attended a flat in James Street on Sunday evening and the property was cordoned off by police last week.

The discovery of remains came after extensive searches across Ballymena.

Searches took place along the banks of the River Braid, as well as in the water and surrounding areas.

community-rescue-service-volunteers-in-thick-undergrowth-near-the-river-braid-in-ballymena-during-the-search-for-chloe-mitchell-who-was-last-seen-on-cctv-in-the-early-hours-of-june-3-in-ballymena-tow Community Rescue Service volunteers in thick undergrowth near the River Braid in Ballymena during the search for Chloe Mitchell yesterday. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

- Additional reporting by Eimer McAuley. 

Press Association