A LEADING cold case expert believes missing woman Annie McCarrick could have gone on a secret date on the night of her disappearance.
The American woman has been missing for the past 18 years in one of the most puzzling missing person cases in the history of the State.
Annie McCarrick vanished on March 26, 1993, on the night before her birthday after she had made arrangements for a celebratory dinner the next day.
She was last seen at Johnnie Fox's pub in Glencullen in the Dublin Mountains with a man in a wax jacket who has never been identified.
In TV3's new series, Crime In Mind, forensic psychologist Dr Mike Berry re-examines the case and determines that Ms McCarrick's actions on the day of her disappearance suggest she was going on a mystery date.
"We can assume she's gone to meet a man for a date at 5pm and she wants to hide him for a while," he said.
"There is a reason why she is hiding it.
"Maybe it is a new relationship or one she was uncertain about.
"If we are on the right line, she's gone over to meet someone and she's ended up in Johnnie Fox's and from there afterwards it's all gone pear-shaped for her.
"She wasn't killed for money or for political reasons. The reasons why people kill are jealousy, anger or sex.
"At best she could have been walking with the person and fallen down and had an accident and he panicked and dumped the body.
"It's more likely she resisted his sexual advances and he lost his temper and killed her. He may not have intended to kill her.
"It would appear that she would have known him. That puts him in a much weaker position.
"He doesn't know if she has mentioned anything about him and that makes me suggest that she was hiding his identity."
At the time of her disappearance, Annie has spent three years in Ireland before completing a degree in English at Maynooth in 1990. She then returned in January 1993 after finishing her masters degree in America -- this was against her father's wishes, as he had hoped she would settle in America.
The latest crime series, which also features research psychologist Mary Aiken, focuses on the use of forensic psychology to study the behaviour of the victim's and the killers to shed new light on cases with no physical evidence.
In conjunction with the show, a website has been set up that will incorporate cyber psychology.
"This website will for the first time allow the public to get involved in the practice of solving crimes, a first for crime-fighting worldwide," Dr Aiken said.
"To the best of our knowledge this is the first time a confidential web line in this format has been applied to cold cases.
"We are hoping input from the public may generate additional insights and leads."
In the five years after Annie McCarrick's disappearance, five other women went missing in east Leinster.
Operation Trace was set up in 1998 to investigate the disappearances of the women and they concluded that convicted rapist Larry Murphy was the leading suspect in the three of the disappearances including Annie McCarrick's.
Dr Mike Berry said that Murphy fit the criteria for the likely killer.
"He has some of the characteristics of the likely killer," he said.
"But then, this is the key point, there are other people in the country that have the same characteristics."
Crime In Mind will air tonight at 9pm on TV3