Family to visit site where murdered teen found
THE family of murdered teenager Daniel McAnaspie, whose body was formally identified at the weekend after he had been missing for 11 weeks, plans to visit the scene where his remains were found.
The 17-year-old's body was discovered by a landowner in a drain in his field at Gilliamstown, Rathfeigh in Co Meath on Thursday. He was formally identified on Saturday after a detailed post-mortem found the teenager had died of multiple stab wounds.
Yesterday a group of Daniel's closest friends gathered at the spot in Dublin where he was last seen alive to pay their respects. Others had gathered at the site the night before to lay flowers.
The teenager disappeared on February 25 when he and a friend went to Whitestown avenue in Blanchardstown, Dublin, to meet two girls.
Cathy Keenan from Finglas, a family friend and member of the 50-strong search party, said that everyone who knew him was "devastated" and "heartbroken" by the news of his death.
"The family literally tore the place apart trying to look for Daniel," Ms Keenan said. "At least this news can bring closure for them now, and they can bring home the body.
"I know the family wanted to go up to where the body was found, but because of the gardai carrying out their work this wasn't allowed. I'm sure when the gardai permit it they'll go up there," she said.
Ms Keenan also expressed her relief that the body wasn't found by a close relative or friend of Daniel.
"It's very sad for the man who found him, that he had to go through that," she added. "But I was glad none of us found him in that state -- it would have been terrible for his sisters and aunties.
"When the search for him was on his pals didn't want to go out because of the fear of finding him dead. I don't know what will happen now, but he'll get one of the biggest send-offs around here in a long time."
As news of Daniel's death broke on Saturday night, those who had shown their support in the search by joining the Facebook page dedicated to him were told of the tragedy through an open message by family and friends on the website.
"It is with our deepest sympathy we have to let you all know that Daniel was found," it read. "The family are very upset and hurt, but would like to thank you all for your support and kindness throughout the search for Dano.
"Daniel, may you sleep softly in your mammy's arms forever now. Nobody can ever hurt you again. You're loved so much forever and will never be forgotten."
Well-wishers flooded the web page yesterday with notes of condolences, while a link to donate online "to help the family get through this difficult time" was posted on the site.
Gardai have repeated pleas for anyone with information about Daniel's disappearance to contact Superintendent Dave Dowling of Blanchardstown garda station on 01 666 7000 or the garda confidential line on 1800 666 111.