Family of couple who vanished a month ago beg for information
The family of a young couple who disappeared over a month ago say they accept that they are dead.
Gardaí investigating what happened to William 'Willie' Maughan (34), and his 21-year-old Latvian girlfriend, Anna Varslavane, remain hopeful of making a breakthrough in the case.
However, Mr Maughan's father Joseph told the Irish Independent that they want to give them "a Christian burial together".
The couple were last seen alive on Tuesday, April 14, in the Gormanstown area of Co Meath.
Detectives believe that the couple were murdered by members of a drugs gang based in Co Louth.
Gardaí have pieced together a considerable amount of information and are expecting a major breakthrough in the case.
Joseph Maughan said: "We are all heartbroken over what has happened to William and Anna and we are pleading with anyone with information to come forward.
"We know that they are gone and we want them back so that we can give them a Christian burial together.
"My wife and children are distraught and what we are going through would make hell look easier," the grieving father added.
The Irish Independent first revealed how the family believes Willie Maughan was murdered because he "knew too much" about a gangland murder in which he had refused to participate last year.
"My son knew something that he should not have known and that is why they were taken away," Mr Maughan said.
An organised crime gang led by a settled Traveller are the prime suspects for what gardaí believe is a double murder.
A major investigation involving gardaí from Ashbourne and Laytown remains active.
A number of searches have been carried out and sources have revealed that several arrests and further searches are expected to take place in the coming days as detectives step up their enquiries.
Joseph Maughan is also set to make a televised appeal for information on RTÉ's 'Crimecall' tonight.
William and Anna had been living in a mobile home on land just off the M1 Motorway in Gormanstown since the beginning of the year.
The missing man was a plumber by trade but stopped working when he developed a drug habit. He had told his parents he was going to make a fresh start just before his disappearance.
Mr Maughan and his girlfriend were moving back to the family home in West Dublin when they vanished.
He last spoke to his mother Helen around 2pm on April 14 as she left the family home in Tallaght to collect the couple.
By the time Mrs Maughan arrived at the spot where she arranged to meet her son an hour later at 3pm, the couple had disappeared.
The mobile phone they had been using earlier had been switched off.
Gardaí believe that the couple were attacked and killed during that hour and that the bodies had just been taken away from the scene when Willie's mother arrived.