BONES buried in a plastic bag in a Wicklow mountain forest are believed to be those of a Romanian teenager missing for four years.
Gardai acting on a tip-off unearthed the remains after more than 10 days of intensive searching on land close to the Kippure estate and the Sally Gap.
Detectives believe the decomposed body is that of Marioara Rostas, 19, from the Roma community, who was last seen sitting in a car at traffic lights in Dublin city centre in January 2008.
She was presumed kidnapped and murdered by a notorious Dublin criminal and associates.
The plastic bag containing the human remains was discovered in a grave a few feet deep during the latest in a series of digs on land outside Manor Kilbride.
Ms Rostas was reported missing by her parents on January 9, 2008 after her younger brother was the last person to see her alive.
She had been outside the Bank of Ireland on Lombard Street East at the junction with Pearse Street when she got into a car, described as a silver Ford Mondeo.
Her disappearance has been linked to a Dublin criminal and a relative of his, and it is believed she might have been sexually assaulted over a number of days before being shot dead and her body dumped.
It is believed she might have been held for a number of days in a house in The Coombe area of the south inner city which was subsequently set on fire.
Gardai fear she was sexually assaulted in the home and also killed there.
The searches, next to Coillte-owned land and scrubland close to the Kippure estate, began on January 11 following a tip-off.
It is understood gardai received more definite information in recent days leading to the discovery.
Officers initially discovered the bag during searches in the mid-morning before calling in forensic experts to establish whether the remains were human.
The remains were removed from the scene after initial on-site examinations by deputy state pathologist Dr Khalid Jabbar.
A garda spokesman said a post-mortem examination to make a formal identification and establish the cause of death will be carried out tonight at Tallaght hospital.
Detectives do not believe that Ms Rostas knew the man who picked her up in Dublin city centre.
The suspect in her death is also suspected of involvement in the gun murder of 19-year-old Darren Cogan, from Bluebell Road, Dublin, in the Blackhorse Inn in Inchicore in June last year.