Witness who led to dig for Trevor acted in good faith
Gardai opened 705 lines of inquiry and took 380 statements in new probe for missing man
A key witness who told gardai that Trevor Deely was buried in West Dublin wasteland provided the information in good faith in an attempt to end his family's suffering, a senior Garda has said.
The information led to the most significant search yet for the missing bank official who disappeared without trace 17 years ago this Friday. The six-week search ended in disappointment, without a trace of Trevor Deely being found.
Paul Costello, the detective inspector in charge of the investigation, said the witness came forward because the information was "something he always had on his mind and he came forward because he believed the family had had enough". He said the investigation was now focusing on other lines of inquiry.
Roughly 380 statements, or memos of conversations, have been taken from witnesses since a cold-case review late last year. In addition, detectives opened 705 lines of inquiry and have worked their way through all but 80 or 90, he said.
Inspector Costello was speaking as the 17th anniversary of Trevor Deely's disappearance approaches, in what has been a difficult year for the missing man's family.
The 22-year-old vanished on December 8, 2000, as he made his way home from his office Christmas party to his apartment in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. He was captured on CCTV camera walking across Baggot Street Bridge towards Haddington Road at 4.14am, after which he vanished without trace.
Gardai launched a new appeal for information earlier this year, including a plea for information about a man in black, who appeared to be following Trevor in the footage.
The dig of the 12-acre site in August was an enormous project that involved teams of 30 gardai, three earth-movers and forensic archaeologists. The site turned out to be a wasteland used by criminals. A gun and an €80,000 stash of cocaine were among the items they found, but no evidence that Trevor was buried there.
Inspector Costello said that because the search was so thorough and painstaking, the team walked from there "absolutely certain and clear in our minds that there is no evidence of Trevor".
The Garda investigation continues to focus on tracing people who may have been in the area on the night that Trevor disappeared. A large number of women who worked as prostitutes in the area at that time have also been traced, along with a number of men. Taxi drivers who were working that night have also been traced. Delivery drivers in the area on the night in question were tracked down for the first time by the review team.
An annual prayer service for Mr Deely will take place this year in his home town of Naas, Kildare, on Friday. His sister, Pamela, told her local newspaper, the Leinster Leader, that the year had been one of the hardest for her family. "We are still not over what happened in August," said Pamela. "It has been a very difficult year for us. Gardai were leading the search but we didn't go to the search site - we couldn't handle it."
The family have kept up a relentless search for Trevor over the years, marking each anniversary of his disappearance with a renewed appeal for anyone with information to come forward.