Man found in mountains killed by thugs who owed him money
Published 03/02/2010 | 05:00
The father of one whose skeletal remains were found in the Dublin Mountains on Sunday was murdered by thugs because they owed him money.
Ken Fetherston, the 26-year-old victim, is believed to have given a loan to some acquaintances, who said they needed money. The cash came from an accident compensation claim, which had been paid to Mr Fetherston earlier.
But when he sought repayment of the loan, he was attacked and murdered.
Gardai are satisfied they know how he was murdered following a post-mortem examination by the Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis and tests by forensic anthropologist Dr Laureen Buckley.
However, they have been withholding the information since Monday night for operational reasons.
Mr Fetherston, who is the father of a three-year-old daughter, left his home at the Tallaght Cross Hotel apartment complex in Tallaght, Co Dublin, on the morning of September 22 last.
Although he had been using a crutch as a result of an injury, he managed to drive to Landy's Industrial Estate on the Knocklyon Road and was last seen there at around 10am at a car repair business.
He was driving a red Honda Civic, registration number 93 D 44862, and was captured on CCTV footage while filling up the car with petrol at a station in the area.
He was reported missing by his family the following day and three days later the Honda Civic was found at the Perrmount lay-by on the southern side of the N11, outside Gorey, Co Wexford.
Gardai believe the car had been there for a number of days. The victim's blood was found in the boot of the car and also on the rear bumper.
Officers suspect that he was murdered on the day he disappeared and his body was then dumped near Military Road in the Dublin Mountains where the remains were discovered by two walkers last Sunday afternoon.
After they had disposed of the body, the killers then drove his car to the lay-by at Gorey and left it there to lay a false trail for gardai.
The car had a 'for sale' sticker, together with a mobile phone number, displayed prominently on the back window and gardai had appealed to anybody who spotted it there between September 22 and 26 to contact them at Tallaght garda station.
Mr Fetherston's car keys, phone or his crutch have not been recovered.
The car was found by a couple of his friends, who had been searching for him.
The entire Fetherston family had been in Gorey at the weekend searching woods for any sign of Ken and when they arrived back home they were told that the gardai were investigating the finding of remains in the mountains.
A skull and part of a torso, together with clothing and footwear, were found in an area known as the 'Viewing Point'.
Up to 40 uniformed and plainclothes gardai, backed up by detectives from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, are taking part in the murder inquiry.
Gardai have also issued an appeal to anybody who saw Mr Fetherston at Landy's Industrial Estate or anywhere else on September 22 to come forward, as well as those who might have noticed any unusual activity on Military Road over the past five months.
Officers said that as concerns had been expressed at a very early stage following his disappearance, all of the resources applicable to a murder investigation had been deployed shortly after he was declared to be missing by his family.