A family campaigning for justice over the death of their mother on the Greek island of Crete say they have identified the person who killed her.  

The body of Jean Hanlon was found in the sea off the island's capital Heraklion in March 2009, four days after she was last seen alive. 

The divorcee's three sons, Robert, David and Michael, have battled bureaucracy and language difficulties in their efforts to find out what happened to their mother and have always believed she was murdered. 

Now they say a private investigator they hired after official efforts to investigate Ms Hanlon’s death dried up has identified her killer, 15 years after her body was found.  

Ms Hanlon, 53, from Dumfries, had been living on the island since 2005, working in bars and restaurants in the coastal village of Kato Gouves when she died. 

Brothers Robert, David and Michel Porter want Greek authorities to reopen the investigation into the death of their mother Jean Hanlon.Brothers Robert, David and Michel Porter want Greek authorities to reopen the investigation into the death of their mother Jean Hanlon. (Image: Family)

Michael Porter, Ms Hanlon's youngest son, released a statement on social media, saying: “It is an overwhelming pleasure to share the fantastic news and progressing in the fight for justice for Jean. 

“Last year we hired the amazing Haris Veramon, a highly-skilled private investigator, and he has worked tirelessly to uncover the truth in mum’s tragic death. 

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“Haris has made a new investigation, producing a 29-page detailed report uncovering new information, clues, and evidence and together we have found witnesses. 

“Now, after 15long years the case will be solved. Thanks to Haris, we have identified the person who killed our mum, Jean, and now the puzzle takes shape and is very nearly complete.” 

He added: “Haris’ passion and dedication to fighting out the truth has been heartwarming; he fights the fight like we do 

“Mum’s voice continues to be heard, even more so now than ever.” 

The investigation into the death of Ms Hanlon, a former hospital secretary, was been beset by problems and delays. The local coroner initially ruled she had drowned, a verdict that suggested her death was accidental. 

However, months later he changed his opinion to declare that Ms Hanlon had died from a neck injury before her body ended up in the sea. 

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Police identified two suspects – a Greek and a Belgian who were both friends of Ms Hanlon on Crete. 

The two, who insisted they were innocent, came under suspicion because of inconsistencies in their statements, but were released after questioning. 

Ms Hanlon's diary showed her relationship with a Greek man had grown tense shortly before her death and a friend said she had complained of being followed by a man in a car on the day she died. 

Her friends and family have speculated that she was killed either deliberately or in a traffic accident, with her body then placed in the sea in an attempted cover-up. 

They have carried out a long-running campaign for a fresh investigation into her death, which was featured in a documentary on Channel Five.