Friday 23 February 2018

Gardaí investigating mystery of human torso discover further remains nearby

  • Mystery surrounds discovery of human torso in Wicklow Mountains
  • Gardaí suspect that person came to a "violent end"
  • Authorities now waiting on post-mortem
  • Investigators believe torso is that of a male
  • Gardaí begin trawl of missing persons files
Garda closure at the Sally Gap/Laragh crossroads, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure at the Sally Gap/Laragh crossroads, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure at Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure at the Sally Gap/Laragh crossroads, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure in Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure in Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure in Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure in Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure in Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure in Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
The Garda checkpoint on Old Military Road in the Wicklow Mountains, near where remains of a body were found

Luke Byrne and Cathal McMahon

Gardaí are investigating the discovery of a second body part in the Wicklow Mountains.

The human remains were discovered after the wider area was cordoned off by gardaí investigating the discovery of a human torso on Saturday evening.

The torso was discovered by a group of people at Military Road, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.

Gardaí cordoned off the road from Enniskerry to Glencree, the road south from Glencree to Sally Gap, and the road further south from Sally Gap to Laragh, in order to carry out searches.

They discovered the second body part approximately 15km from the first, but cannot yet confirm if both discoveries are linked.

Trawl

The Garda checkpoint on Old Military Road in the Wicklow Mountains, near where remains of a body were found
The Garda checkpoint on Old Military Road in the Wicklow Mountains, near where remains of a body were found

Gardai do not know the identity of the person but initial forensic pathology examinations suggest the torso is from a man.

The further pieces of skeletal remains will by examined by the state pathologist's office to determine whether they are from a human and whether they are connected to the first find.

It is understood detectives are trawling missing persons reports, while other tests are being carried out in an effort to determine how long ago the person died.

The search areas have been extended to cover about 30km sq of the national park and mountains, with gardai being supported by members of the Defence Forces.

Garda closure in Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure in Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Torso

The torso was discovered in bushes on the road by a group of people returning from a picnic at around 7.45pm on Saturday.

Superintendent Pat Ward, of Bray garda station, said officers were satisfied the victim died a violent death.

"A local doctor attended the scene. He confirmed, in fact, that the remains were that of a human being," he said.

"At this point, the Technical Bureau has completed its examination of the scene.

"The body was removed for a short period to the Mater Hospital for X-ray and post-mortem... at the city morgue in Whitehall."

Supt Ward said gardaí wouldn't have any further information about the victim until the post-mortem was completed.

Officers have begun a trawl of missing persons files. However, it is understood they believe the victim may have been murdered recently.

"In fact, we don't know the gender of the person at this particular moment in time," Supt Ward said.

"We believe that the person who died came to their death by sinister means.

"It's similar to a murder investigation, the type of investigation we are undertaking is comparable to a murder investigation. We're putting as much resources and effort into it."

Supt Ward said the investigation would be led by the results from the post-mortem.

Parish priest Fr Larry Behan said the find was a tragedy.

"We don't know who it is. We weren't asked to remember anybody in weekend prayers and, as far as I know, no one is missing locally.

"Of course, it's a terrible tragedy," he told the Irish Independent.

The search location is in an isolated area of the Wicklow Mountains. Throughout the day, a steady stream of motorists and cyclists approached Military Road, at Glencree, only to be turned away by a lone garda signalling the road closure.

From the roadblock, there was no visible sign of the widespread searching that was taking place.

At the quiet café in the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, a few hundreds metres away, most people had no idea about the grim find.

One woman said she had heard the news on the radio in the morning.

"They found something up there, remains or something.

"I don't know anything about it, I just saw that the road was closed," she said.

Supt Ward said gardaí were interested in talking to anyone who used the road, including workers for Coillte, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, or ESB Networks, and might have seen suspicious activity in recent weeks.

Officers can be contacted at Bray garda station on 01-666 5300 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800-666-111.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News