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Forest combed in hunt for Roma teen missing since 2008

Gardai investigating the disappearance of a Romanian teenager four years ago have launched a search operation in a forested area in west Wicklow.

Officers fear that Marioara Rostas, who was 18 when she went missing on January 6, 2008, was abducted, murdered and her body dumped in a remote area.

As a result of extensive inquiries into her disappearance, gardai are focusing their search on the Kippure estate between Manor Kilbride and the Sally Gap in Wicklow.

A full-scale search operation was launched yesterday and officers said it could continue until at least tomorrow evening.

Ms Rostas, of Corballis West, Donabate, in north Dublin, was reported missing by her parents after her brother spotted her getting into a car at Lombard Street East, near Pearse Street, in Dublin's city centre.

Gardai believe she had been befriended by a Dublin criminal, who offered her food and shelter and then abducted her.

Inquiries indicated she was taken to a house rented from the HSE in the south inner-city, where she was held against her will.

They investigated suggestions that the criminal attempted to force into prostitution and when she refused, she was assaulted and shot dead.

The house was set on fire in an effort to conceal any forensic evidence.

Several searches have been carried out since as part of the garda inquiries.

Ms Rostas and her family had been destitute and living in a derelict house in Donabate.

The prime suspect is well known to gardai and has been linked to drugs and firearms dealing.

Meanwhile, a separate search by gardai at Kilranelagh, near Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, ended yesterday without producing any results.

The search was ordered by gardai investigating the past activities of notorious rapist Larry Murphy, who had lived in the area, after a forensic scientist -- who did not want to be named -- told a newspaper that Murphy might have used a derelict hunter's lodge on private lands there.

The run-down lodge is located close to where Murphy brought a young woman he had abducted and raped.

Irish Independent