Thursday 25 December 2014

Body-in-bin case twist as surgery 'not done here'

Ken Foy

Published 28/08/2014 | 11:06

Thorntons Recycling Plant Kileen Rd Ballyfermot where a Human leg was found overnight
Gruesome: Gardai had to shift through tonnes of waste to find the body parts

Screws in part of the skull of a man whose dismembered body was found in a west-Dublin skip were not from an Irish hospital, garda investigations have established.

Detectives have now concluded that the murder victim was "in all probability" a foreign national, but sources said that gardai are still no closer to solving the gruesome riddle.

Just three hospitals in Ireland could have carried out the brain surgery on the man whose body was found in a skip at Thornton's Recycling facility in Ballyfermot on July 31 and garda enquires have established that he did not have the medical procedure in this country.

Police forces from around the world are now involved in the investigation.

A source explained: "This is very much an international investigation now - it was always unlikely that this unfortunate man was Irish but that prospect seems hugely unlikely now."

An upper leg and lower leg were first located at the Recycling plant on Killeen Road by staff on July 31.

Further body parts were then found following extensive searches of up to 1,000 tonnes of domestic and industrial waste.

The Herald previously revealed that the hands and most of the skull of the victim had been removed from him in a bid to hamper identification from dental records or fingerprints.

A garda spokesman said earlier this month that the victim, who was aged between 25 and 45, had neurosurgical screws in his skull and was between 5ft 8ins and 6ft in height.

"There is evidence that this male underwent bilateral craniotomies, - surgery arising from serious head trauma, such as a car accident or a serious assault or related incident," the spokesman said.

He said it is possible the man suffered neurological problems in the aftermath of this, such as seizures or epilepsy.

While gardai uncovered the neurosurgical screws and part of the skull, the remainder of the head and arms are still missing.

Gardai have still not determined how the man died but they believe that it was a violent death.

It emerged that the investigation team has taken 250 statements and more than 300 lines of enquiry are being followed.

Officers have contacted Interpol as well as the Garda Missing Persons Bureau.

However, it is understood that there is still "no solid lead" in the probe. The investigation is being led by some of Ireland's top detectives, including Detective Superintendent Christy Mangan, who led the inquiry into the murder of Farah Noor, whose headless body was found in March 2005 and whose identity took months to unravel.

In what became known as the 'Scissor Sisters' case, Det. Supt. Mangan's cracked the complicated murder that led to Charlotte Mulhall being jailed for life for his murder, while Linda was convicted of manslaughter.

Their mother Kathleen Mulhall, who was in a relationship with the murder victim, was also jailed for her role in the sick crime.

kfoy@herald.ie

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