The body of the missing Dublin woman, Peggy Mangan, was found in undergrowth in a field beside Ikea today.
The grim discovery was made shortly after 4pm, just as volunteers were preparing to search the area of Ballymun in north Dublin.
Her pet King Charles spaniel Casper, which later died, was found standing over the body when police made the discovery.
Mrs Mangan’s body was found under a tree in grassy wasteland beside the landmark Ikea shopping centre.
A local priest gave last rites over Mrs Mangan’s remains. Her body was removed from the scene shortly afterwards.
The area was quickly cordoned off by Garda, while Mrs Mangan’s family were informed.
As the area was sealed off for forensic examination, a large group of volunteers stood in silence on the motorway, stopping the passing traffic on the motorway as a mark of respect for Mrs Mangan.
Up to 150 volunteers earlier joined gardai and search and rescue teams to search fields and marshes in north Dublin.
Mrs Mangan, 65, suffered from Alzheimers. She left her home on Mount Tallant Avenue in Terenure at 11am on Tuesday morning to walk her King Charles spaniel.
Gardai launched today search after concluding that CCTV footage of a woman walking her dog in the Lanesborough area of Finglas at around 10pm last Tuesday night was more than likely Mrs Mangan.
The community CCTV footage in the Lanesborough area of Finglas is the last known sighting of her and Garda rescue teams are focussing the search within a 3.5 kilometre radius of that spot. At 3pm today, rescue teams and volunteers fanned out across fields and marshes beyond.
Mrs Mangan’s son, Jon, earlier told the Sunday Independent that he was still hopeful of finding his mother alive. He also thanked all of the volunteers for their assistance.
“I know my mother would appreciate it and my family absolutely appreciates it,” he said. “The community support out here has been nothing short of spectacular.”
Jon said his mother, who raised three children of her own, is a caring person who has looked after lots of children in Terenure over the years. She developed Alzheimers in the last four to five years.
She adored her 10 year old King Charles Spaniel, Casper: “The dog was her best friend,” he said.
Last Tues morning, she left their home to take the dog for a walk and was seen with him at various points in the city later on Tuesday. A slight woman of five foot two, she wore a white jacket and black trousers.
She was seen later that day on Clanbrassil Street in the south inner city at around mid-day, in Finglas at around 3pm and at the Topaz Station in Glasnevin at 6.50pm.
She did not take her mobile phone, or cash or even a bus pass with her and it is believed that she walked all the way from Terenure in south Dublin to Finglas on the north side. She has also been without medication for her illness for several days now.
While gardai and civil defence orchestrated a forensic search of the area, the voluntary effort was orchestrated by her son-in-law’s family. Peggy’s son in law Darragh works at DID electrical in Finglas, which is close to the area where she was last seen. The electrical store became a volunteer base today as local people turned out in their droves offering to help.
Carol Barr, Robert Moran and Siobhan Brady, all from Finglas, said they were moved to join the search after hearing the appeal for help. “If it was my parent I would like to think someone was out looking for her,” said Siobhan Brady.