Saturday 16 December 2017

I fear my missing husband is the victim of foul play - pregnant wife

Sonya Whelan at the search for her husband Joseph
Sonya Whelan at the search for her husband Joseph

Adam Cullen and Ken Foy

THE pregnant wife of missing man Joseph Whelan is terrified he has become the victim of foul play.

Sonya Whelan has been "crawling through ditches" to try to find her 37-year-old husband, who disappeared on Good Friday after leaving his home in Ashbourne, Co Meath.

A shoe and a jacket belonging to Mr Whelan were found on farmland and in a back garden in Cavan in recent days.

Mr Whelan left his home shortly after 11pm on April 4 to return two laptops to his friend in Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, but hasn't been seen since.

Mrs Whelan believes that there is little hope left of finding her husband alive. "Something happened to him, and somebody is covering it up," she said.

"I have no more tears left to cry," she added. "The kids are worried sick. It's just not like him. He would always check in on the kids, he adores them."

Missing man Joseph Whelan
Missing man Joseph Whelan

On the night of his disappearance, her husband travelled to Cavan to return a computer that he had fixed for a friend.

But on his way to his friend Darren Monaghan's house, he phoned to say that he had pulled into a housing estate in Virginia.

Mr Monaghan then got a phone call from Mr Whelan at approximately 12.48am, in which he said he was in a field being "chased by five police".

"I asked what he was talking about but the line went dead," Mr Monaghan said.

The last known attempted contact from Mr Whelan came at 1.22am - a missed call to his nine-year-old daughter's phone. He also has two boys, aged six- and five-years-old.

CCTV footage obtained shows Mr Whelan wandering around the Swiftbrook estate shortly after 12.35am.

The Blanchardstown man was known to gardaí but only for minor offences and is not considered a criminal. However, sources say that gardaí are examining whether Mr Whelan had fallen foul of a criminal or criminals based in Co Cavan.

Gardaí were yesterday involved in searches close to a lake near Virginia after conducting aerial searches in the locality on Friday and other searches in the area over the weekend.

Mr Whelan's blue 02 Volkswagen Passat car was recovered at the Swiftbrook Glen estate on Easter Monday.

Irish Independent

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