DNA to help identify body of murder victim in drain
THE identity of a murder victim who had been stabbed to death and then dumped in a drain may not be officially known until tomorrow.
A post-mortem examination confirmed yesterday that the dead man had been stabbed up to six times in the body.
Last night the family of Daniel McAnaspie, who has been missing since February 26, were anxiously waiting to find out if the body is Mr McAnaspie's. DNA tests are being carried out and dental records checked to establish the murder victim's identity.
The body was found on Thursday afternoon by a farmer walking at Rathfeigh, between Kilmoon Cross and Duleek, Co Meath. He spotted the partially clothed remains at the bottom of a drain. It had been there for some time and was badly decomposed.
After the post mortem had been completed, gardai formally launched a murder investigation yesterday.
Sixty gardai from the Dublin west division have been trying to solve the disappearance of Mr McAnaspie (17), who was last seen alive in the early hours of February 26 when he was with a group of youths on a street in Blanchardstown. Officers investigated reports that Mr McAnaspie had been attacked by a couple of youths, punched and then stabbed. But up until this week no significant progress had been made in the investigation.
Mr McAnaspie, who is originally from Finglas, had been reported missing 20 times in the past but none of his previous disappearances had lasted more than a day and he had usually made contact with a friend. He had a mobile phone with him when he was last seen but it has not been in use since.
He was spotted near the Erin's Isle GAA club in Finglas at 4.30pm on the afternoon of February 25 and then sighted a number of times up to 3.30am at Whitestown Avenue where he had been socialising in at least one house and then with other young people on the street.
One of a family of six, Mr McAnaspie's parents are dead and gardai have been liaising regularly with his aunts and siblings.
The garda investigation has included searches extending from Blanchardstown into other parts of west Dublin and along the M3 motorway. Divisional search teams, backed up by the national support services including air support, underwater and dog units have examined several lakes, a stretch of the Royal Canal and fields around Finglas and Blanchardstown.
Friends have describe Mr McAnaspie as likeable and fond of "a bit of fun".
After Crimestoppers offered a reward of up to €10,000 last month for information to help solve the case, his two aunts and two sisters issued a tearful plea for help from the public to locate their missing relative .
Mr McAnaspie's aunt, Sabrina, said : "All Daniel wanted to do was to turn 18 years in November and to travel the world".
Supt Dave Dowling said: "There are people out there, who know what happened and we are asking them to come forward and contact either Crimestoppers on their freephone number, 1800 250025, or the garda hotline, 1800 666111. All calls will be in confidence."