'More than one person' invovled in McAnespie killing
Published 18/05/2010 | 15:01
Detectives investigating the murder of Daniel McAnaspie believe more than one person was involved in his killing, it emerged today.
As senior officers hunt the 17-year-old`s killers, forensic specialists continue to examine his body to calculate when it was dumped in a field.
Superintendent John Gilligan described the stabbing of the teenager as a desperate act.
"Daniel was an innocent young man, a well-liked young man," said Supt Gilligan.
"He was well respected by his family and people who knew him and he certainly didn't deserve anything like this.
"It was an awful act to be carried out on him. He was trying to make his way in his life."
Daniel, who was in Health Service Executive care, vanished after socialising with a group of people in Blanchardstown, west Dublin, on February 25. Gardai said the last recorded sighting of him was at 3.30am.
The teenager's badly decomposed remains were discovered last Thursday in a drain on farmland at Gilliamstown, Rathfeigh, near Duleek.
The site is 200 metres from a quiet road off the N2 Ashbourne to Derry route.
Gardai urged anyone who saw a car in the area, or headlights in the field, over recent months to come forward.
Supt Gilligan said it would have taken Daniel's killers about 25 minutes to drive the 25km from Whitestown in the middle of the night.
Despite 450 inquiries, officers are still trying to find a motive for the knife attack and if Daniel was killed where his body was dumped.
He said the young man had never been in trouble with gardai.
"It is my belief more than one person was involved, but the investigation team had to keep a very clear head on this," he continued.
"We believe this is the first time Daniel was in the area of Whitestown and Blanchardstown. Some of the people he knew, some of the people he didn't. It wasn't a place he frequented.
"Now it's a matter of working through all the information and establishing a motive."
The victim's siblings have criticised the care given to Daniel by the state after their parents died, leaving six youngsters behind.
HSE officials said they will investigate the teenager's death under the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) guidelines reviewing serious incidents and deaths of children in care.
Supt Gilligan said he wanted to publicly express his deepest sympathy to Daniel's family.
"They have been Trojan in their efforts, in conjunction with our own, in trying to locate Daniel's body," he continued. "The family have been committed to the search."
Leading officer Detective Inspector Colm Fox appealed for the public's help.
"We believe there may be people out there who may have something to offer, no matter how trivial that piece of information is... come forward," he said. "That information may be the key to solving this investigation."