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Body in bin given murder inquiry status

Gardai are now treating as suspicious the discovery of human remains in a waste recycling plant in Ballyfermot late on Thursday night.

The resources of a full murder inquiry are being deployed for the investigation as gardai grow increasingly concerned that foul-play could be behind the grim find.

The discovery of a leg by a shocked worker at the Thorntons plant on Killeen Road was yesterday followed by other body parts.

A post-mortem was last night carried out on the remains as gardai try to identify the victim.

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DNA testing has also been carried out but gardai think it could be days before they have been able to complete the search of the plant.

"There are tonnes of waste material to go through in a very challenging environment," said a senior source.

"While there were initial thoughts or theories that the remains might be that of a homeless person who was sleeping in a bin and was accidentally tipped into a waste truck, or medical waste that was incorrectly labelled, this is now looking less likely because no clothing or medical wrappings has been found yet," they added.

A garda spokesman said that while the post-motem has been concluded on the remains, further tests will have to be carried out to determine the gender and age of the person.

The alarm was raised just before midnight on Thursday when a leg was found by a worker sorting through waste material.

Gardai working on the investigation are compiling lists of recently missing persons.

But if the remains do belong to a homeless man or woman it could be some time before a person in that situation is reported missing, which would hamper identifying them.

"By their nature homeless people do not have regular patterns in their lives and sleep in many different locations, so they are less likely to be missed by families," a source told the Herald.

"It is very difficult and sensitive, but if the teams of gardai could find other parts that might make identification easier, such as a head, or hands with fingerprints, then it would speed up the investigation."

cfeehan@herald.ie


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