Missing Jastine Valdez's purse found by gardai in search of golf course in south Dublin
- Dozens of gardai and sniffer dogs join search for missing student
- Armed garda killed suspect - a married father-of-two (40) from Bray - after manhunt
- Gardai appeal for movements of black Nissan Qashqai registration 171 D 20419
GARDAI searching for missing student Jastine Valdez have found her purse at a disused golf course.
Dozens of gardai, members of the Defence Forces, civil defence and sniffer dogs are now undertaking a major operation in a wooded area in the Rathmichael vicinity in south Dublin, hours after the father-of-two suspected of abducting the 24-year-old in an apparently-random attack was shot dead by an armed officer.
The young woman's purse was found at an unused golf course at Puck's Castle, close to the Wickow border.
A source told Independent.ie that the area is now being classified as a "crime scene".
Gardai have also issued a fresh appeal for anyone who may have noticed anything suspicious in the area of Puck's Castle Lane and Kiltiernan Lead Mines, Rathmichael, from 6pm on Saturday to 8pm Sunday.
Ms Valdez (24) from Enniskerry in Co Wicklow, was last seen being bundled into a Nissan Qashqai SUV near her home on Saturday evening.
Her suspected abductor was shot dead by an officer in a confrontation on Sunday evening after gardai traced the vehicle to the Cherrywood business district south of Dublin.
The man killed has been named locally as 40-year-old Mark Hennessy, from Bray, in Co Wicklow. He was a father-of-two.
The Garda Siochana Ombudsman's Commission, is investigating the shooting.
No trace of Ms Valdez, an accountancy student originally from the Philippines, had been found since Hennessy was killed - until her purse was located this morning.
Sections of the area at Rathmichael are now sealed off to the public, including Pucks Lane and the area around the Ballycorus lead mines site.
"The Defence Forces have deployed two platoons, consisting of approximately 60 personnel, in the Rathmichael area to assist in the search operation following a request from An Garda Síochána," a spokesperson said.
Hennessy (40), who was married with two young children, was confronted in a car park in south Dublin last night after a massive search operation for the missing woman.
A senior source told Independent.ie that the kidnapping suspect was armed with a knife when gardaí approached him at the Cherrywood industrial estate.
It is understood that Hennessy threatened to self-harm and stab gardaí, before he was shot by a detective from a south Dublin garda station.
A large presence of gardai remained at the scene this morning.
People on their way to work stopped to observe the site and talked openly about the dramatic development that unfolded during the search for missing Jastine Valdez.
“It’s such an awful tragedy no matter what way you look at it,” said one passer-by.
“I just hope that poor girl is found alive and well – her family must be going through absolute hell,” he said.
A woman on her way to work told Independent.ie that she’s still very shaken by the incident.
“I really don’t know what to say – I’m just so shaken and disturbed by all of this."
Killiney Hill had been cordoned off by gardai as part of their search for Ms Valdez this morning but that restriction has since been lifted.
Garda also renewed their appeal this morning for any information in relation to the movement of a black Nissan Qashqai registration 171 D 20419 between 5pm on Saturday and 8pm on Sunday.
Gardai are attempting to piece together Hennessy’s movements since 5pm on Saturday when he left his home in Bray, Co Wicklow.
The kidnapping suspect, a building contractor originally from Ballybrack, had told his wife he was going out socialising on Saturday evening.
He has no obvious connections to Jastine and her movements on the day she went missing were random, leading gardai to investigate whether the attack was completely unplanned.
The young IT Tallaght student was abducted by a man driving a black Nissan Qashqai as she walked home near Enniskerry about 6.30pm on Saturday. There has been no sighting of her since.
Following a massive garda appeal for information about the car, Hennessy was sighted at Killiney Dart station yesterday afternoon.
When confronted by members of the public, he mounted a curb in the Qashqai and fled the scene at speed.
He was later traced to the Cherrywood industrial estate where a stand-off with gardaí ensued.
Hennessy was shot dead and, as is normal when a garda firearm is discharged, the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is investigating the shooting.
However fears are mounting for Jastine after she was not found in the car.
She and her parents, who are from the Philippines, have been living in Ireland for the past three years.
A student at Tallaght IT, Jastine had got off a bus in Enniskerry on Saturday evening and was walking home along Kilcroney Road, near the Powerscourt estate, when the Qashqai pulled alongside her.
The driver of the car pulled her into the vehicle and then drove off at high speed.
A woman and her young family witnessed the incident and alerted the gardaí.
About an hour later, a man phoned the gardai to say he had spotted a young woman in distress in a car on the N11, a short distance from where the abduction took place.
Gardai checked the area and set up a wider search for the car.
But when Jastine’s parents contacted gardai at 11pm on Saturday to report she was missing, a large-scale investigation was launched.
A divisional search party was sent out at first light yesterday and officers found Jastine’s mobile phone and some other personal belongings including a bag near where she had been abducted.
The air support unit was involved while gardaí also received assistance from the Civil Defence. Members of the Garda technical bureau carried out extensive searches.
Jastine is described as 5ft tall, slightly built with long, black hair and brown eyes. When last seen, she was wearing a dark-coloured jacket, a white T-shirt, grey leggings and runners.
Gardaí appealed to anyone with information about the incident or the car to contact them at Bray station on 01 6665300 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111.