OVER three days last week, gardai searched a half-acre site near Manor Kilbride in Co Wicklow for a Roma teenager who vanished two years ago while begging on a Dublin street with her younger brother.
Mariarora Rostas, 19, had flown to Dublin only three weeks earlier, joining her parents in the derelict house in Donabate they shared with other Roma families.
On Sunday, January 6, 2010, Mariarora and her brother were begging on Lombard Street in Dublin 2. Mariarora's brother saw her getting into a silver car, stopped near traffic lights, driven by a dark-haired man. When the boy approached the car, the man gave him €10 and drove off with Mariarora. Her family never saw her again.
She did make one phone call, however, the day after she vanished. She rang her brother in Romania on her mobile, saying she was being held against her will and had no idea where she was.
Gardai suspect she was murdered soon afterwards by a Dublin criminal. They suspect she was raped, shot and her body dumped. The house in which she is thought to have died was later burned down.
Four people were arrested but advancing the investigation proved difficult. Last week gardai received new information that led to a search of the site, close to the Kippure estate on lands owned by Coillte. There was still no trace of Mariarora by Friday.