A STOLEN mobile phone is playing a key part in garda inquiries into the death of Latvian man Deniss Timosejevs (22), whose body was found in a field.
Checks are being carried out to establish when and where the phone was last used and what calls were made between Monday evening, when he was last seen, and Tuesday afternoon, when his body was discovered outside Swords, north Co Dublin.
Gardai are examining several theories as to how he died, but the most likely is that he was the victim of a hit-and-run incident.
A post-mortem examination by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Khalid Jabbar showed shop worker Mr Timosejevs died from blunt force trauma, sustaining severe internal injuries and a broken arm.
The injuries would be consistent with a hit-and-run incident, but gardai have not ruled out that he was assaulted and robbed.
Officers said they were satisfied he had not fallen from a communications mast near where his body was found on farmland at Windmill Road, Balheary.
They said they had not yet found any trace of Mr Timosejevs' silver Ericsson phone, AIB card or Latvian driving licence. It is not clear if they were stolen before or after his death.
Dr Jabbar visited Balheary again yesterday morning as part of follow-up inquiries which also involved gardai checking the roads and paths leading back from where the body was found to the house at Thornleigh, Applewood, where Mr Timosejevs lived with his brother and his brother's girlfriend.
A senior officer said they were retracing the likely route taken by Mr Timosejevs when he left the house on Monday evening, and were trying to find any evidence of a struggle or a road accident.
House to house inquiries along the route were also carried out.
Mr Timosejevs, the son of a surgeon from Ludza in eastern Latvia, arrived here in 2011 and had been working in a More4Less store at the Pavilion shopping centre in Swords since November. He was a qualified computer engineer. He regularly played soccer on the green in the Applewood estate.
When last seen alive, he was wearing a Barcelona FC scarf and a distinctive black, orange and white bomber-style jacket.
Gardai last night renewed their appeal to anyone who might have seen him on Monday night, or had information on locals acting suspiciously since then, to contact them at Swords station 01 6664700 or the confidential line, 1800 666111.