Friday 19 January 2018

Search widened as missing wife mystery deepens

Massive land and sea hunt as concern mounts for missing woman

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
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

GardaI have conducted one of the biggest search operations to date on both land and sea into the mysterious disappearance of Tina Satchwell earlier this year.

The investigation, involving up to 40 personnel, includes garda divers and search dogs, as well as members of the Defence Forces.

Ms Satchwell (45), originally Tina Dingivan from St Bernard's Place in Fermoy, has been missing from her home on Grattan Street, Youghal, since March 20.

Her husband, Richard, returned from a shopping trip to Dungarvan and found she had left the house.

A team of six divers from the Garda Water Unit carried out searches of the quays in Youghal in the centre of town yesterday morning.

Divers spent the day probing an area more than 100 metres long where there is open access to the water.

Elsewhere, a team of 12 from the North Cork Divisional Search Unit carried out a search of scrub and wasteland on both sides of Golf Links Road above the town. They were supported by a search team from the Defence Forces in Collins Barracks.

Garda search dogs were also part of the operation.

Further localised searches were carried out in urban areas around the town by members of the Divisional Search Team and the Cork City Garda Dog Unit.

Gardai were assisted by Irish Army specialists and members of the Irish Search Dogs organisation.

It is one of the biggest operations conducted so far as part of the investigation.

Mr Satchwell reported her missing to gardai in Youghal on March 24.

He said he waited a few days as he thought she may have needed to "get her head straight" after what he said were several months of anxiety.

The search operation is being led by Supt Eamon O'Neill of Midleton Garda Station.

Investigating officers are baffled by Ms Satchwell's disappearance as she has no history of going missing. Gardai have described her disappearance as "out of character".

Ms Satchwell - who was not working and was not drawing social welfare at the time of her disappearance - was devoted to her two dogs and a parrot, which she left behind.

According to investigating officers, the searches in Youghal were initiated yesterday morning as "a result of information received and ongoing inquiries into the disappearance of Tina Satchwell".

However, a spokesman would not divulge the nature of the information received.

Mr Satchwell has issued several appeals for her to return home.

On March 20, her husband, a truck driver, said he returned home to find two suitcases gone along with a large amount of cash.

Tina had no passport, her mobile phone was left in her home and her bank account has not been accessed.

A trawl of CCTV found no trace of her and gardai believe that she did not leave Ireland.

In early June, Garda technical experts carried out a forensic examination of the couple's three-storey home on Grattan Street and the couple's car.

The examinations found nothing to suggest Ms Satchwell had been the victim of foul play.

Gardai have also trawled through CCTV cameras from around Youghal but no footage was found showing Ms Satchwell, who is 5ft 6in tall with blonde shoulder-length hair.

Internal CCTV footage from Bus Eireann buses servicing the town also showed no sign of the missing woman.

Gardai have checked airports and ferry ports to see if she might have travelled to the UK, but this also proved fruitless.

She first met Mr Satchwell in the UK when she lived in Leicester 26 years ago.

Mr Satchwell, who is in his early 50s, has appealed for his wife to make contact with him.

Alternatively, he has urged her to make contact with the gardai to let him know she is safe and well.

Gardai say any information in relation to Tina Satchwell should be communicated to Midleton Garda Station on 021 4621550.

Sunday Independent

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