A RUTHLESS killer who brutally murdered a mother and child had knowledge of the area where they lived.
Gardai believe the murderer who stabbed 27-year-old Jolanta Lubiene and her eight-year-old daughter Enrika made his escape through the back of the house on Saturday afternoon and then ran into a 14-acre field at the rear.
Their rented house on the Langford Downs estate in Killorglin, Co Kerry, backs on to the field which is easily accessible.
Gardai are carrying out a search of the field in an attempt to find the murder weapon.
It is also thought the killer may have been aware of CCTV cameras in the town centre and avoided those that had earlier captured Jolanta as she made her way home on foot down Langford Street after finishing her shopping at around 1.50pm.
Gardai are hopeful that a trawl through Jolanta's phone records and her internet activities might help pinpoint whether she had arranged to meet somebody in the house that afternoon.
They are trying to establish whether she might have developed new friendships through internet sites over the previous few weeks.
Gardai, who are holding a case conference in Killarney today to review the latest developments, think Jolanta knew her killer and let him into the house.
As a result of their inquiries, officers have narrowed the time of the murders to between 2.15pm and 4.45pm.
The frenzied attack on the helpless mother started upstairs in the house with the killer chasing her down into the kitchen and stabbing her again as she ran for the back door.
Post-mortem results revealed she had been stabbed more than 20 times as she desperately tried to flee.
Little Enrika was stabbed in the throat in the upstairs landing where her body was discovered on Sunday at 8.30pm.
Officers from Limerick and Cork have joined local units in the search for the murder weapon and this may not be completed until tomorrow, while house-to-house inquiries have extended outside the estate on to the route used by Jolanta as she walked home from the shops.
Gardai have also sought the assistance of Interpol and Lithuanian police in the hunt for the killer, while a Lithuanian translator is helping with the appeals for help.
Meanwhile, the local community in Killorglin has rallied behind the victims, donating money to help with the costs of bringing their bodies home for burial.
Friends of the tragic mother and daughter started a collection yesterday after they heard the wishes of the family to repatriate their bodies to their native Lithuania so that family and friends at home would not miss the funerals.
The devastated father and husband of the victims, Marius Lubys, spoke of his determination to bring them home, despite the prohibitive costs.
It is expected that after the bodies are released they will be taken to the airport for their return home.
Gardai took the unusual step yesterday of issuing an appeal for help from the Lithuanian community here, written in their own language.
The gardai have an investigation headquarters at Killarney station, 064 6670180, or information can be passed on by phoning the confidential line, 1800 666111.