Gardaí hoping to speak to small group of teens who last saw murdered Ana (14) alive
- Gardaí hoping to speak to young teens who last saw Ana in park
- Investigating teams awaiting DNA evidence before next step of investigation
- Body of young teenager Ana (14) found in derelict farmhouse
- Family had raised alarm shortly after she failed to return home on Monday evening
- First-year student described as 'particularly striking teenager'
- 'This is a terrible tragedy for the Kriegel family, our school and our community' - school
Gardaí are hoping to speak to a small group of teenagers who last saw murdered teenager Anastasia 'Ana' Kriegel alive.
The 14-year-old schoolgirl was viciously beaten and left to die in a derelict farmhouse shortly after she went missing earlier this week, gardaí believe.
Investigators are hoping to speak to two boys, aged in their early teens, in the coming days. Ana was last seen in St Catherine's Park in Lucan on Monday evening. Her family raised the alarm shortly afterwards when she failed to return home to nearby Leixlip as expected.
The severely injured body of the teenager was discovered in a building off the Clonee Road in Lucan yesterday afternoon - about 1km from St Catherine's Park.
Gardai began treating her death as murder after a post-mortem was carried out in the early hours of Friday morning to determine the exact cause of death.
They are now looking into whether Ana may not have been alone at the time she went missing.
An appeal has been made for anyone with any information to come forward. Garda Superintendent John Gordon said the girl's family was "extremely distressed".
The scene at Clonee Road remains sealed off as the Garda's technical examination continues.
Gardaí believe that the teenager was stripped, beaten and left to die within hours of being reported missing by her parents on Monday night.
Investigating teams are now awaiting DNA evidence before the next step of the investigation.
They are investigating if the murder had a sexual motive, and if Ana was killed by someone she knew.
They said they are "keeping an open mind" and are concerned about people "jumping to conclusions" at an early stage in the investigation.
A first-year student at Confey Community College, Ana Kriegel was described as a “particularly striking teenager” who was well known within her school and local community. Investigators also said that her family have been left extremely distressed by her tragic death.
Paying tribute after news of her tragic death, the school wrote in a statement; "We've learned yesterday (17th May 2018) of the death of Anastasia Kriegel. May she Rest in Peace. This is a terrible tragedy for the Kriegel family, our school and our community. We are deeply saddened by Anastasia's death. Our deepest sympathy to Anastasia’s family and friends."
Due to the serious nature of the crime, local gardaí are receiving assistance from a number of garda units including detectives from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI).
Her family grew increasingly concerned when she did not return home, and contacted Leixlip garda station at around 8pm on Monday night.
Following a three-day search, her remains were discovered in a derelict farmhouse around 2km from where she was last sighted.
The scene was preserved and the property was examined by members of the Garda Technical Bureau yesterday afternoon.
Gardaí are trying to find out if Ana had made an arrangement to meet up with somebody that evening and are checking out all mobile devices she might have used and looking at her activity on social media on Monday and in the previous few days.
The park where Ms Kriegel was last seen alive is a popular spot frequented by families with children.
The 200-acre site, which was searched by gardaí for three days, stretches from Lucan to Leixlip and the nearby Clonee area.
But just a few hundred metres away towards the Clonee Road, the derelict property where Ana was discovered paints a far bleaker place.
The farmhouse and surrounding property has been derelict for many years, and is a place frequented nowadays only by local youths as a hang-out spot.
Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said she has been close friends with Ana’s family for decades. Ms Murphy said she had only spoken to Ms Kriegel’s parents on Wednesday night.
When she wasn’t contactable her parents went to the local garda station almost immediately. “They’re absolutely heartbroken,” Ms Murphy said.
“They didn’t waste any time when she didn’t turn up at home, not communicating with her family was out of character entirely.
“They went to the guards at half past eight. This was just not like her,” she added.
Describing Ana, Ms Murphy said that the young teenager loved dogs and had a tight-knit group of friends. “Ana was tall for her age, but she was a big kid,” Ms Murphy said.
“She loved dogs, she’d have you pestered about what type of dog was this or that.”
Ms Kriegel was also involved in the performing arts, practicing in a dance academy in Leixlip. Last night, State pathologist Marie Cassidy conducted a preliminary examination of the schoolgirl’s remains. Supt John Gordon, of Lucan garda station, said the family are “extremely distressed”.
TD Catherine Murphy said the family are eager for people to share any information they may have and said this crime "needs to be solved quickly".
"We've been personal friends for several decades. We all live in the same area but there is a group of us that socialise together," Ms Murphy told RTE Radio's News at One.
"That's how we know each other, we'd be close personal friends.
"I've known Ana since she was a tot.
"I'd know her from growing up. I wouldn't have seen her all that often because they were very dedicated parents, and their social life changed once she arrived.
"Essentially, I knew obviously from Monday that she was missing."
Ms Murphy said she saw the news of a body being found on social media yesterday.
"I was just utterly shocked you know. You'd be shocked if this was any child, I suppose when you know the family it's just a little bit different.
"Look, you just want to be with the family. You can do nothing in these situations.
"We all felt helpless what could you possibly do, you can do nothing but be there for your friends.
"I would most definitely echo the appeal of helping the guards with any information you may have.
"Ana's family have been nothing but complimentary about the guards. They took them seriously as soon as they arrived at the police station on Monday evening at 8pm.
"She left at 5pm, it was just so out of character, she communicated with them all the time. There wouldn't have been an unanswered text message.
"The family have been very complimentary about the guards and want people with any information at all to come forward.
"This needs to be solved quickly. People in the community are afraid, it's a devastating crime."
Ms Murphy also appeal for privacy for the family.