Sunday 21 October 2018

I don't believe I am a suspect in my wife Tina's disappearance - Richard Satchwell

  • Richard Satchwell no longer believes he is a suspect in the investigation into his missing wife Tina
  • Husband of missing woman says he believes Tina (45) is still alive
  • Speaks as searches are ongoing in Mitchel's Woods in Castlemartyr, east Cork
  • Gardaí using specialist equipment to search area following 'credible tip-off'
Richard Satchwell pictured at his home holding a photo of wife Tina
Richard Satchwell pictured at his home holding a photo of wife Tina

Kathy Armstrong and Ralph Riegel

Richard Satchwell has said that he no longer believes he is a suspect in the investigation into his wife Tina's disappearance.

Tina (45) vanished without a trace from her home in Youghal on March 20 last year and her husband has said that, while he initially thought gardai suspected he was involved in her disappearance, he doesn't think that now and is helping them with every aspect of their investigation.

Speaking on TV3's Ireland AM this morning, Richard said he believes he is not a suspect in the case of his missing wife.

"They've not voiced it [that I am a suspect] but their actions are different," Richard said.

"I went into the guards of my own accord, I made a statement and I'm not ashamed to say I was an emotional mess, I did more crying than talking.

"No, I did originally [think they believed I was a suspect] but then originally everything was all raw with her being gone, the house was searched, I was confused and now I feel that I am not.

Vanished: Tina Satchwell
Vanished: Tina Satchwell

"Anything that the guards ask for I am providing.

"Our [phone] network has gone into liquidation so I've already swapped the number on her phone because I believe that's the one she would call and the guards have that and I'll be handing the new phone to the guards tomorrow."

Richard said that while things were good between the couple, he claimed other family issues had taken a toll on Tina and he believes she may have left Cork to clear her head.

He explained: "There's a lot of stuff that I don't want to have out there because I know Tina wouldn't want it out there.

"As a couple we weren't going through a hard time, we celebrated our 25th anniversary just before Christmas and everything was good.

"She got up Christmas morning and said let's make this our best Christmas we have ever had, for the first time we took photos of Christmas Day.

"There were things going on, I've had people who knew her say you could see the upset in her eyes in those Christmas photos but when you live so close to her you don't see everything that is going on.

"One of Tina's fears was ending up on anti depressants, she made me promise she would never have to, she said that from day one."

'Someone had to give a helping hand [to Tina] somewhere, you can't just up and leave without help from anybody' - Richard Satchwell
'Someone had to give a helping hand [to Tina] somewhere, you can't just up and leave without help from anybody' - Richard Satchwell

He continued to say: "I think she needed to get out, I did it myself in 2002, the difference was we sat down and discussed it.

"We spoke every night on the phone but I left for a year to sort myself out, I went to England and got a job, I sent money back to help her out...

"From time to time she said that if she ever got up and went and if I went after her she would go to the guards, and then 20 minutes later she would say that she had never said that.

"That was the way she was, one minute she could be sitting down laughing and the next she was crying."

He said the day his wife Tina went missing "started like any other".

DISAPPEARANCE: Tina Satchwell has been missing from her home in Youghal, Co Cork, since March 20
DISAPPEARANCE: Tina Satchwell has been missing from her home in Youghal, Co Cork, since March 20

But then, he left their home for two hours to run errands and when he returned Tina was gone, her keys were on the floor and her beloved dog Ruby was left alone, which he said was "unusual".

Richard said the reason her did not report her missing for four days was because he thought she might have gone to stay with friends or family in Fermoy.

"I gave her the space she said she would want, I had to to go to the doctors on the Friday and before that I went to her sister and brothers and when I found out she wasn't with them but it was like the floor fell away from me," he said.

"I just went to them on the Friday, I had been 100pc positive she was gone to Fermoy, I didn't have any reason to believe anything else because that's where she's from, where her friends are and where she would have accommodation."

Following a phone tip-off from a "credible witness", a team of 60 personnel began searching Mitchel's Wood near Castlemartyr on Monday.

CCTV security camera footage from various premises in the east Cork village has been examined as part of that search.

Unfortunately, a quantity of CCTV footage was deleted because of the significant time lapse involve

Richard said he is "not mentally strong enough" to consider the possibility that his wife is no longer alive and he thinks someone must have helped her to leave Youghal.

He said: "I just want her to get in touch with somebody, anybody, just so we know she's all right.

"I know there's someone out there who helped her to get out of Youghal and I think that person should be ashamed of themselves for leaving the stress they've left behind, not only with me but with her family.

"I can't see any other way she would have got away from Youghal, the guards have gone through the CCTV of the buses and there's no CCTV footage where we are living but if she was on public transport she would have been caught on CCTV."

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