Monday 19 August 2019

Cold case: Fresh probe into murder of mum whose body was found in bog 25 years ago

Marie Kilmartin’s body was found in Co Laois in 1994
Marie Kilmartin’s body was found in Co Laois in 1994

Ken Foy

The Garda's cold case unit is expected to begin a fresh probe into the murder of a 35-year-old woman whose strangled body was found in a bog more than 25 years ago.

No one has ever been charged with the murder of mum-of-one Marie Kilmartin, originally from Ballinasloe but who was living in Portlaoise when she disappeared in December 1993.

Her body was found six months later in a bog drain near the Co Laois-Co Offaly border. Last week at the Central Criminal Court, a detective made an application for interviews gardaí had with the chief suspect in the case, recorded on VCR tapes, to be transferred to DVD.

The tapes contain six interviews conducted with the chief suspect from 1994 to 2008. No admissions were made by the suspect in the course of these interviews and it can be revealed he is a middle-aged man from the midlands.

The application was made so the seal on the master tape on the VCRs could be broken. The application was approved.

A senior source told the Irish Independent the Marie Kilmartin case had always been a "live and active investigation" and gardaí were keen to "preserve all evidence in the case".

It is now expected to be probed by the National Bureau of Investigation's serious crime review team, commonly known as the cold case unit. This is the latest major development in the case since three people were arrested in September 2008.

The two men and a woman, then aged in their 40s and 60s, were detained in the Portlaoise area and brought to Tullamore and Portlaoise Garda stations. They were questioned for 24 hours each before being released without charge.

Marie Kilmartin had been working in an old people's home in Portlaoise when she disappeared on December 17, 1993. Her disappearance was treated as a missing person case until her body was discovered six months later under water in a bog drain outside Mountmellick, Co Laois, 32km from her home.

Almost 13 years ago, the victim's daughter, Áine, launched a campaign appealing for information that might lead to the capture of the killer or killers. "There are people out there who know what happened to my mother," she said.

"These people know exactly what happened and they are fully aware there is still a murderer at large."

Irish Independent

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