Tuesday 16 January 2018

Walker finds body of missing fashion student Claire

Breda Heffernan

An Irish student who was missing in the UK since last weekend has been found dead.

A body, believed to be that of 24-year-old Claire O'Dowd, a former student at Loreto College in Foxrock in Dublin, was found near a towpath along the Oxford canal at Wolvercote in Oxford on Wednesday night.

Police in Oxford said they were not treating the death as suspicious and the local Coroner's Office was now investigating.

Ms O'Dowd had been on a night out with friends in London on Saturday and missed her flight back home to Ireland the next day.

She was last seen boarding a train at Euston Station and it is believed she may have been planning to get a ferry from Holyhead to Dublin.

However, the fashion student's body was discovered by a member of the public out walking in Oxford, about 50 miles from London.

A police spokeswoman said the body was found near some trees off a canal towpath.

"We are not treating the death as suspicious and the case has been passed on to the coroner. We attended the scene and carried out an initial investigation," she added.

Local police have appointed a family liaison officer to help Ms O'Dowd's family in Ireland.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said they were aware of the death and were providing consular assistance to the family.


Family and friends of Ms O'Dowd had set up a Facebook group to appeal for information on her whereabouts. It attracted more than 3,500 supporters in just two days.

Writing on the website, her father Justin thanked those who had supported him, his wife Jennifer and their son Kris, as they searched for Claire.

"It gives us a great heart to know that Claire is loved and missed by so many people," he said.

Irish Independent

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