Tuesday 16 July 2019

Heartbreak after mother of three murdered in frenzied stabbing

'She was so friendly... it's so shocking and upsetting, especially as she was a mother'

Skaidrite Valdgeima
Skaidrite Valdgeima

Robin Schiller, Ken Foy and Ian Begley

A young woman stabbed to death in a "frenzied" attack in a Dublin city centre apartment has been remembered as a loving mother and friendly neighbour.

Latvian national Skaidrite Valdgeima (34), a mother of three living in the Deerpark Walk estate in Blessington, Co Wicklow, was killed early yesterday morning.

Gardai outside the Aparto Hotel Bonham St, scene of a fatal stabbing.
Tony Gavin
Gardai outside the Aparto Hotel Bonham St, scene of a fatal stabbing. Tony Gavin

A 22-year-old man remained in Garda custody last night where he was being quizzed about the murder.

"It's just so heartbreaking. She was a loving mother of three young girls who was always seen outside playing with them," one local in Blessington told the Irish Independent.

"I can't even begin to imagine the devastation her family feels at the moment.

"I didn't believe it when I first heard the news.

Garda forensic officers examine the scene at the Aparto Hotel on Dublin’s Bonham Street. PHOTO: TONY GAVIN
Garda forensic officers examine the scene at the Aparto Hotel on Dublin’s Bonham Street. PHOTO: TONY GAVIN

"Although I didn't know her that well, she was so friendly to us when we first moved in.

"It's just so shocking and upsetting, especially since she was a mother," another said.

Senior sources told the Irish Independent that the tragic victim was stabbed multiple times in the "frenzied assault" which happened shortly after 3.30am yesterday.

The young man in custody is a Lithuanian national who had been living in the apartment recently and is understood to have been known to Ms Valdgeima.

"This was a very frenzied assault - the victim was stabbed multiple times in the body and the neck," a senior source said.

Gardaí are not looking for anyone else in relation to the murder, which happened at Aparto Binary Hub apartment complex in the Bonham Street, Dublin 8. A senior source said that the tragic drama unfolded as people who lived near the apartment "heard screaming and shouting" coming from the property.

When they went to investigate, they saw the suspect standing over the critically injured woman and armed with a knife.

After they attempted to confront him, the suspect ran away before he assaulted two security guards outside the apartment complex, which is used for student accommodation and short holiday visits.

The suspect then ran away.

Two unarmed, uniformed gardaí, responding to reports of a stabbing, "tackled to the ground" a man at Bridgefoot Street.

The officers also managed to secure a knife, which is the suspected murder weapon.

After being taken into custody, the man was briefly treated in hospital before being taken to Kevin Street garda station, where he was questioned throughout yesterday.

Ms Valdgeima was taken to St James's Hospital, but was pronounced dead a short time later.

"She never stood a chance with the injuries inflicted on her," the source said.

A motive for the murder has not been established and it has not been determined what the woman was doing at the south inner city apartment.

Members of the Garda Technical Bureau arrived at the scene shortly after 9.30am yesterday to carry out a forensic examination. Their initial enquiries focused on the inside of the entrance door at the hostel. The officers later carried out an examination of the room where the stabbing is alleged to have taken place.

Two crime scenes were sealed off: the area around the hostel on Bonham Street, and part of Bridgefoot Street, where a number of blue latex gloves were visible, appearing to cover blood marks.

Several uniformed and plain-clothed officers also examined both scenes for any potential evidence linked to the fatal stabbing.

Senior investigators also visited the scene yesterday as gardaí continued to appeal for witnesses to contact them. A post-mortem examination was due to be carried out on the victim yesterday afternoon.

A number of people who had been staying at the hostel remained outside yesterday morning as they were unable to return to their rooms. Following the fatal stabbing gardaí confirmed that a male was arrested and taken to Kevin Street garda station.

Irish Independent

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