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Sunday 21 January 2018

Murder detectives search flat in hunt for body-in-bag killer

Garda officers at the scene where the body of Rudo Mawere was found stuffed inside a suitcase. Photo: Damien Eagers
Garda officers at the scene where the body of Rudo Mawere was found stuffed inside a suitcase. Photo: Damien Eagers
Rudo Mawere
The house in Rathmines, Dublin, where Ms Mawere was staying

Tom Brady, Louise Hogan and Colm Kelpie

MURDER-SQUAD detectives searched a flat last night as they investigated the killing of a woman found stuffed in a bag and dumped on a city street.

Officers searched the apartment in north inner city Dublin, where they suspect Rudo Mawere may have been strangled and her body crammed into a large travel bag before it was abandoned beside rubbish bins in a residential street close to the capital's Phoenix Park.

Detectives are also looking for a man as they continued their inquiries into the murder.

Gardai believe Ms Mawere, aged in her mid-20s, may have been involved in a row with a man prior to her killing.

They have appealed for anyone who saw a luggage bag being pulled in the Blackhorse Ave, North Circular Road, Prussia St, and Aughrim St areas on Saturday afternoon or evening to come forward.

Gardai were last night in the process of tracking down Ms Mawere's family in Africa.

A garda source said: "They're following a few lines yet.

"This girl is unknown to us, and we have to try to find people that know her and where she was going, who she was friendly with."

Ms Mawere was found fully clothed in the travel bag with a plastic bag over her head.

Detectives believe the plastic bag was put on after she was murdered. Forensic tests are being carried out on the luggage bag in the hope that they will produce vital evidence identifying the killer.

Ms Mawere was living in a flat on Leinster Road in Rathmines and had been in her second year in a Human Resources Diploma at the Business and Computer Training Institute (BCT) at Parnell Square, Dublin.

Gardai interviewed a number of her friends at the college that is a hub for international students, with a large number attending from Malawi

The 26-year-old had signed up to attend the college two years ago from Malawi before flying to Ireland.

Ms Mawere had shared her rented flat and had also been looking for work as an au pair.

The scene where the luggage bag was dumped on St David's Terrace, -- which is just yards from McKee Barracks on the quiet, residential street -- remained sealed off yesterday as officers combed rubbish bins and examined under parked cars.

The young woman was religious and was known to love singing.

Gardai spent several hours interviewing residents at the flat complex in Dublin's southside, as well as with her tutor at BCT.

Eric Yao, of the Africa Centre, said there would be several hundred Malawians living in Ireland.

"All of us are in a state of shock," he said.

"Most Malawians come here to study, because of the relationship that Ireland has with Malawi through the Irish Aid programmes there.

"You would find a great number of them in the educational system."

Ms Mawere's body may have been lying in the luggage bag on the city street for more than 13 hours before it was discovered.

Officers spoke to residents on St David's Terrace who saw the bag on Saturday night but did not open it.

A passer-by examined it at about 8.30am on Sunday and immediately alerted gardai.

Irish Independent

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