Tuesday 23 July 2019

Gardai seal off South Dublin home in connection with murder of woman discovered in Wicklow Mountains

Defence Forces personnel assist Garda officers searching the Military Road area in the Wicklow Mountains after human remains were found
Defence Forces personnel assist Garda officers searching the Military Road area in the Wicklow Mountains after human remains were found
Members of the Garda Underwater Unit at the Glenmacnass waterfall in the Wicklow Mountains yesterday. Photo: Collins Dublin

Ryan Nugent and Cathal McMahon

A house has been sealed off in Nutgrove, South Dublin on Tuesday night as part of the garda investigation into the death of a woman.

Gardaí from the District are examining the scene to establish if it is connected to the murder.

A man, aged in his 30s, was arrested in Wexford earlier today.

Independent.ie has learned that the man is known to the dead woman.

Gardaí are investigating if the woman was murdered over a "personal grudge" however sources say they are keeping an open mind about the incident.

"This investigation has exploded and taken a completely different twist in the last number of hours so gardaí are hesitant to say anything.

"At the moment the investigation is going at a million miles an hour."

A body part, believed to be the victim's head, was found approximately 3km north of Glenmacnass waterfall this afternoon.

The DNA samples confirmed the deceased was an adult female Caucasian who died within the last week.

Further forensic testing will be carried out to try to determine the identity of the deceased person.

Superintendent Pat Ward said this evening: "The findings today reveal, and I may be a little gruesome in what I have to say, and I'm particularly conscious of the fact that the body found is that of a loved one, but I have to say that what we have found today are limbs and we've also found some significant parts of the torso.

"And we've also found in one of the locations, a bag with the head and hands of the deceased.

"The forensic examinations that have been carried out now indicate that the body is that of a female - an adult female.

"While earlier indications were that the body was that of a male, the significant and complex investigations up to this point now indicate that the body is that of an adult female."

Read More: Human head found in search for remains in Wicklow Mountains

Supt Ward added they are confident that the remains belong to one person.

He said: "We're satisfied at this stage that we have discovered most of the body. We're satisfied also at this stage that we're talking about one body.

"If there are any adult females that they (loved ones) haven't seen in the last week, probably in a period of 2-10 June, we are particularly interested in hearing from them."

"These findings were only found in the last few hours, we've yet to conduct a detailed examination of the body parts that we have found.

"Unfortunately we can't put a precise age or even speculate as to the age of the deceased."

There was no comment on whether any clothing or jewellery were found.

It was earlier believed that the remains belonged to a male and he explained why it took so long to establish that they were female.

He said: "These investigations are extensive, they're very complex. We deal with the information that we have at the particular time.

"In this case any information we had at an early stage was preliminary so we now have a more detailed picture so we're working on the information that we now have.

"It's a Caucasian woman, an adult female.

"A lot of the examination will be carried out tomorrow but there's further forensic testing obviously through DNA samples and other forensic tests to be carried out.

"The search operation will continue even though we have most of the body parts.

"Obviously there may be other evidence that may link a suspect to this crime, we obviously know this person came to her death through violent means and there may be other evidence out there that we want to get hold of."

Read More: Human remains found in Wicklow are adult female, gardai confirm

This is the fifth discovery since a human torso was found of Military Road in Co Wicklow on Saturday night.

The inquiry is now being co-ordinated between gardaí in Rathfarnham and officers in Bray, Co Wicklow.

Gardai are appealing for anyone who might have been in the general area of Military Road / Laragh Co Wicklow in the recent past and who may have seen anything suspicious or unusual to contact the incident room at Bray Garda Station on 01-666 5300, the Garda Confidential Line 1-800-666-111 or any Garda Station.

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