TWO mobile phones have disappeared from the home of murdered mother Jolanta Lubiene and her eight-year-old daughter, Enrika.
Gardai believe the phones were taken by their killer in a bid to frustrate investigators' efforts to pinpoint his identity.
The two were savagely stabbed to death in a crazed attack at their home at Langford Downs estate in Killorglin, Co Kerry, a week ago.
But details about the missing phones could only be confirmed yesterday after a garda search of the house for evidence following the completion of forensic inquiries.
However, senior officers said the absence of the phones would not seriously hinder their inquiries as they had the numbers and could examine the traffic on the mobiles in the days prior to the stabbing frenzy.
Gardai believe that the killer was known to Jolanta and Enrika and this explained why the attacker had stabbed the little girl in the throat before setting upon her mother.
Earlier this week, the Irish Independent disclosed that 27-year-old Jolanta had been stabbed well over 20 times in the body and in the hands and arms as she fought to defend herself.
The weapon has not yet been found but gardai are continuing their search in a field at the rear of the estate.
Gardai think the killer may have made his escape through the field as none of the residents saw him outside the house afterwards, although he would have been in a very distressed and agitated state and heavily bloodstained.
Officers suspect that Jolanta was murdered for personal rather than financial reasons and have renewed their appeal to local people in Killorglin as well as the Lithuanian community in the surrounding area to give them any information about the woman's recent acquaintances.
But they pointed out last night that they were pursuing all lines of inquiry at the moment as they had not yet determined a firm motive.
Jolanta was known to be active on the internet and her computer is being examined to establish if she had formed any new friendships in recent weeks or months.
The search team has also taken away personal items such as diaries and notebooks where Jolanta might have written names or phone numbers that could be helpful to the garda inquiries.
The investigation team, based at Killarney station, is liaising through Interpol with the Lithuanian police as they carry out a full background check on Jolanta.
She had planned to leave here with her daughter in the middle of next month, after being in the country since 2005, and return home to Lithuania.
Instead, the two bodies will be repatriated, probably next week, after they have been released by the authorities.