A US-based team of private investigators have identified a suspect who they believe is responsible for the murder of missing American woman Annie McCarrick.
Michael Griffith, a New York-based lawyer who was hired by Ms McCarrick’s family in the 1990s to help with the missing persons investigation, told Independent.ie that information provided by a member of the public has led to a significant breakthrough in the case.
Mr Griffith arrived in Dublin earlier this week and met a detective from An Garda Síochána in relation to the probe.
“We spent almost two hours talking about the case and we have agreed to share information,” he said.
“I am confident that the gardaí are serious about solving the case and I think we can establish a relationship that will be mutually beneficial. There are serious efforts now being made to solve this case and we are hopeful that we can finally get justice for the McCarrick family.”
Earlier this month Independent.ie revealed that Mr Griffith and ex-FBI agent Kenneth Strange are planning to travel to Ireland later this year to try and find out what happened to the 26-year-old.
The team were contacted by a number of people following an appeal for information about the case, culminating one particular individual with significant information getting in touch.
“I can’t go into specifics, but this is credible, significant information pertaining to the day Annie went missing,” said Mr Griffith.
“We had a lot of people come forward, who were very well intentioned, but the information they had led us nowhere. In the case of this person, the details provided could led to the breakthrough we need. They gave specifics relating to one individual that warrants careful investigation.
“The pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together,” he said.
“Sometimes it just takes an effort to refocus people’s mind on a particular case to get information flowing. We are now focused on one individual and we are asking people to contact us with anything at all that might help. Contact us or contact the gardaí.”
Ms McCarrick was 26 when she was last seen taking a bus to Enniskerry, Co Wicklow. Her father John, who spent years trying to find out what happened to her, died in 2009 with no answers.
Mr Griffith and Mr Strange have joined forces with Annie’s uncle, John Covell, in a bid to finally solve the mystery.
The US-based team is being assisted by Brian McCarthy, an Irish private investigator who was initially hired by the McCarricks when their daughter went missing almost 30 years ago.
At the time, gardaí investigating Ms McCarrick’s disappearance collected information that seemed to point to Annie visiting Johnnie Fox’s Pub, in the village of Glencullen, high in the Dublin Mountains. Mr Griffith and the US-based team do not believe that information to be true.
“She didn’t go there,” he said.
“Our own investigations have established that the sighting of her in the pub was a case of mistaken identity. This new information would tally with our belief that she didn’t go to the pub.”
Mr Griffith also said that a separate witness account, not formally given to gardaí at the time, also fits with the new lead.