Wednesday 21 February 2018

Gardai upgrade Phoenix Park body discovery to murder investigation

Following the results of a post-mortem examination, Gardai are now treating the discovery of a badly burnt body in a sleeping bag in Phoenix Park this morning as murder.

A post-mortem has revealed he was assaulted before he was discovered in a wooded area with his sleeping bag on fire.

Gardai are appealing to the public for assistance in identifying him and gardai believe they may have to rely on DNA evidence.

The extent of the burns on the his body have meant that the man, who was found engulfed in the blaze near the Wellington monument, could not be identified because of the extent of his injuries.

Speaking at the scene this evening Superintendent Dave Taylor explained: “At approximately 1am a passing Garda patrol was alerted to a fire at the wooded area here beside me.

“On investigation of this fire they discovered that a man in a sleeping bag was on fire.

State forensic pathologist Marie Cassidy at the scene of a body find near the Wellington monument at the Phoenix Park, Dublin.
State forensic pathologist Marie Cassidy at the scene of a body find near the Wellington monument at the Phoenix Park, Dublin.
Members of the gardai at the scene of a body find near the Wellington monument at the Phoenix Park, Dublin.
The scene where the body was discovered near the Wellington Monument in the Phoenix Park
Gardai on duty at the scene in the Phoenix Park, earlier this morning
Gardai at the scene of the discovery of the body of a male near Wellington Road, Phoenix Park today (Friday) 29-11-2013. Pic: Collins Photos.
A garda on duty close to the cordoned off area in the Phoenix Park
Gardai at the scene of the discovery of the body of a male near Wellington Road, Phoenix Park today
The preserved scene in the Phoenix Park, where the body was discovered earlier this morning.
The area where the grim discovery was made in the early hours of the morning
The scene of the discovery in Phoenix Park
The preserved scene in the Phoenix Park, where the body was discovered in the early hours of the morning

“The Gardai assisted by the Dublin Fire Brigade assisted this man. Unfortunately due to the nature and intensity of the fire this man died at the scene.

“The area was immediately sealed off for a full technical examination and the office of the state pathologist was notified.

Supt Taylor said he appealing to any member of the public who witness any “unusual or suspicious activity” in the area between 4pm on Thursday and 1am this morning, to come forward.

He added: “I’m also appealing to any person who may have a friend, relative or associate who is homeless or has that lifestyle and haven’t seen that person in the last 24hours, would they come forward to us at Cabra Garda station.”

He said Gardai are working with homeless agencies to help identify the man whose age and nationality are not known at this point.

He also appealed to homeless people who may have information to come forward saying: “We do understand that people have a lifestyle that they may be uncomfortable coming to An Garda Siochana but I can assure you any information that you may have will be treated in the strictest of confidence.”

An incident room has been set up in Cabra Garda Station and can be contacted on 016667400 or by calling the Garda confidential line on 1800666111.

Cormac McQuinn

Irish Independent

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