independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Abducted developer 'looked 90 years old' when he was found

THE millionaire property developer who went missing for eight months "looked like a 90-year-old man" when he was found.

Brother Brendan McGeever told the Irish Independent that Kevin McGeever could be in hospital for some time, but it has emerged that he has already made a number of statements to gardai.

In a revealing interview, Brendan said that Mr McGeever had been sitting up, chatting to family and asking for his favourite food and magazines.

Detectives from Galway have begun a major investigation to unravel the mystery of what happened to businessman Mr McGeever (68), who turned up on a country road in Co Leitrim last week.

"He was extremely malnutritioned when he was found," said Brendan.

"All the fat, flesh and muscle in his face has sunken in. I think he'll be in hospital for a long time.

"He used to be about 14 or 15 stone and was always really fit and active. But now he's only about seven-and-a-half stone. It's shocking."

Yesterday, the Irish Independent revealed that Mr McGeever, who says he was abducted from his luxury mansion in Craughwell on May 27, told his family the gang had demanded a €10m ransom.

The businessman has also said the gang may have taken €80,000 from his accounts during his ordeal.

It is understood that he has recovered well enough to give detectives an account of what happened to him from his hospital bed.

Detectives will now begin to examine Mr McGeever's bank accounts to ascertain if money has been taken, in the hope of identifying potential suspects.

They are also trying to establish a motive for the abduction.

Officers will also revisit a complaint he made to gardai in 2010 when he claimed that his life was threatened in Craughwell by a man driving an English-registered car.

"This is certainly a baffling case and there are a lot of unanswered questions at the moment, for which the investigation team needs to find answers," a source said.

"The biggest question relates to a ransom demand. Who was the demand given to, and how was the money given over?"

Gardai have also confirmed that Mr McGeever's partner, Siobhan O'Callaghan, had declined an offer to issue a public appeal for help in locating him.

Suspects

Yesterday, the Irish Independent revealed that the missing man sent three text messages to his partner in the days following his disappearance in which he reassured her he was OK.

However, the mystery deepened when it was discovered that the texts were sent using mobile networks in the UK and Germany.

Mr McGeever told family he was abducted by a group of men driving a Hiace van, held in an underground container and weighed just seven stone when discovered wandering at the side of a rural road.

He also said he was held in a shipping freight container, fed a ham sandwich and a large container of water every day for eight months, and given plastic sheeting to keep warm.

His brother Brendan said the captors attempted to "break his spirit" but the businessman was "determined they were never going to do that".

"He had great difficulty holding the container of water because he thinks his wrist may have been broken.

"He continually drank water and he believes that's what sustained him.

"One member of the family saw him last Thursday night and it was quite horrific. He looked like a 90-year-old man in the bed," he said.

But he added: "He was cracking the odd joke so he's getting his personality back. He's asking people to get him favourite foods of his in Tesco."

Irish Independent

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