Sunday 25 February 2018

Human head found in search for remains in Wicklow Mountains

Members of the Garda Underwater Unit at the Glenmacnass waterfall in the Wicklow Mountains yesterday. Photo: Collins Dublin
Members of the Garda Underwater Unit at the Glenmacnass waterfall in the Wicklow Mountains yesterday. Photo: Collins Dublin

Ian Begley

Gardaí have made a fifth discovery of human remains as part of their investigation into the murder of a male.

A significant find was made approximately 3km north of Glenmacnass waterfall this afternoon.

Sources said the body part appears to be the victim's head and a forensic examination will now take place.

This is the fifth discovery since a human torso was found of Military Road in Co Wicklow on Saturday night.

Superintendent Pat Ward said the authorities are trying to work out what happened to the deceased person.

He said: "This find has been made in the last two hours or so [around 1pm] so we can’t really comment on it yet. We don’t really know exactly what we’re dealing with yet but obviously we’ll go through the normal procedures that we go through in these particular circumstances.

"We will have [the body part] examined by medical practitioners and we will have it brought up to the city morgue in Whitehall to have it examined by the deputy state pathologist.

"There’s nothing specific [on when the individual was murdered] but the post mortem results would indicate that the person lost their life within the previous week of the first discovery on June 10.

"It’s a man who is probably 25 years or more and is a male Caucasian."

He added: "From Glencree right down to Glenmacnass the pattern seems to be that the body parts were dispersed on the side of the road, from a moving vehicle – a van or something like that.

"It’s very important to us that the public continue to report any suspicious activity that they might have seen from June 2 on wards.

"From the first find at Glencree down to Glenmacnass is a 20k stretch of roadway. We currently have a stretch of road way closed from the Featherbeds down to Laragh Village, which is approximately 30k long.

"If we have further searches to carry out we might have to extend the search area beyond Laragh and beyond the Featherbeds."

He continued to say: "This person is a father or brother to somebody and we owe it to them to try and find the [remaining] body parts.

"Anything that we have found to date has been above the surface [of the ground]. We don’t know what the body parts may have been in before they were discarded.

"It seems a vehicle traveled from the north to the south of the Military road or the opposite way around and as that car traveled along it seems the body parts were discarded in this cruel manner.

"Our main focus at the moment is on identifying the body."

He added that gardai are being assisted in the investigation by the Defence Forces, by the Civil Defence and by the garda water unit and they expect the search to continue at least until the end of the week.

Supt Ward said no attempt was made to conceal the remains.

He said this latest part will be examined by medical practitioners and will now be brought to the city morgue in Whitehall for a full examination.

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