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Saturday 10 December 2016

Gardaí retrace steps of student who was brutally attacked

Published 28/11/2016 | 02:30

Maynooth student Kym Owens
Maynooth student Kym Owens

Gardaí have returned to the scene of last week's savage attack on teenage student Kym Owens in Maynooth.

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Officers were last night retracing the 18-year-old's movements in the Moyglare Abbey Estate in the Co Kildare town, exactly one week after the attack.

Kym is recovering from numerous injuries - including a broken jaw, broken eye sockets and a broken nose.

An officer with a sniffer dog was among the units on the scene, as around 20 locals also came out to aid in efforts.

Some of the residents who were out last night were among the first on the scene to help the injured student.

Gardaí were trying to jog people's memories as well as trying to identify any evidence that might have been at the scene and slipped through the net. Officers also set up a checkpoint on the road.

One young girl who was stopped by gardaí said there was a level of fear in the community. She said there was concern about the fact there is no chief suspect.

Last night, Kym's family kept a vigil at her bedside. Her father Ray said that she is "doing as well as she can".

Investigating gardaí are hopeful that the first-year arts student will have information on her attacker when she wakes up in hospital.

Motive

Investigators are still searching for a motive for the attack. Kym was not sexually assaulted, nor were any of her belongings taken.

Gardaí believe she was punched repeatedly in the face, most likely by a man because of the sheer force of the blows and the extent of her head injuries.

No witnesses have come forward and the assailant remains at large, with local CCTV footage said to be of poor quality because of the foggy conditions at the time.

It is understood the investigation team, led by Superintendent Gerry Wall, has drafted in officers from the technical bureau to scour the area for clues the attacker may have left at the scene.

Kym, who is from Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, had been home to see her family at the weekend. She took a private bus back to Maynooth on the evening that she was attacked.

Gardaí are trying to trace an estimated 40 people who were on the bus along its journey from Monaghan to Maynooth.

They are investigating if the attacker was a passenger who followed Kym when she got off in Maynooth and then assaulted her.

"There is very little to go on. Fog has clouded the quality of the CCTV footage. There is no reason why this should happen to this girl," a source said. "Gardaí are working tirelessly interviewing people who were seen around the area at the time and eliminating suspects."

Irish Independent

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