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Monday 23 July 2018

Gardaí to decide if forest hunt for Tina should be extended

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Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Gardaí are to review the search of a sprawling Cork woodland for missing woman Tina Satchwell over whether the operation should be extended into next week.

A team of 60 personnel has been painstakingly inspecting Mitchell's Wood outside Castlemartyr, in east Cork, over the past 10 days for any sign of the woman who vanished without trace on March 20, 2017.

While items of interest have been uncovered by the search team, no significant breakthrough has been made. Almost 80pc of the 40 acres of woodland initially prioritised have now been searched.

All search zones are due to be inspected by tomorrow.

Garda search teams have been supported by Defence Forces engineering units and Search Dogs UK. Streams and rivers adjacent to the woodland are now being searched by the Garda Sub Aqua Unit.

The search site has been cordoned off behind steel security fencing with the operation supported by mobile spotlights, industrial generators, portacabins, a Garda mobile command centre and even portable toilets.

Search

Supt Colm Noonan is leading the search operation and a full review of its work will be conducted tomorrow. The first anniversary of Tina's disappearance is on Tuesday.

Searches of Mitchel's Wood were ordered after gardaí received a telephone tip-off that "significant activity" was spotted by a member of the public around the woodland in March last year.

However, gardaí will decide following their search review whether the operation should be extended into next week. Supt Noonan initially indicated the operation would last for between two and three weeks.

Ms Satchwell, who is originally from Fermoy, disappeared from her Youghal home in Co Cork while husband Richard was on an errand to Dungarvan. Mr Satchwell has consistently insisted he had nothing to do with his wife's disappearance.

"I am still hoping Tina will be found safe and well. If you don't have hope, you don't have anything," he said.

Irish Independent

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