Human limbs discovered in a waste recycling plant in Ballyfermot could have come from a person who met their death in the past number of weeks, gardai believe.
Decomposition and deterioration of the leg parts that have been found so far have shifted the view of investigators that the person, which has now been determined as a male, died very recently.
While the hot weather experienced across the country will have increased the rate of decay, gardai who are trying to identify the human remains have widened their time-frame of possible death.
"This person could have been dead for a number of weeks, it's just very hard to tell but there is a degree of decomposition so it is not thought they died very recently," one source told the Herald.
While no new finds of body parts were reported by last night, the exhaustive search by gardai of tonnes of rubbish in a very challenging environment is set to continue this week until investigators are sure that no more remains are present at the Thorntons site on Killeen Road.
The first body part, a lower leg, was discovered by a shocked worker sorting through rubbish last Thursday night.
Gardai were immediately notified and a thigh and part of a pelvis were later recovered during further searches.
Sources have said that although no cause of death has been established, the discovery of the dismembered parts suggested there is the likelihood of foul play.
No clothing was found in the rubbish, leading gardai to think that the possibility of a homeless person who was sleeping in a bin getting tipped into a bin lorry by accident is now less likely.
While gardai would not say they had begun a murder investigation, all the resources of a murder inquiry have been utilised in the strange and gruesome case.
It is understood the services of an anthropologist as well as specially trained garda dogs have been brought in to help try to find and identify more remains thought to be at the recycling plant.
A post mortem carried out on the leg parts was not conclusive in determining how the person died, but DNA tests have shown they belonged to a man.
Further tests are being carried out now to establish a possible age and race for the victim. There have been cases previously in Ireland where murder victims have been dismembered and disposed of.
Kenyan immigrant Farah Swaleh Noor, who was killed by sisters Charlotte and Linda Mulhall in 2005, was cut up and his dismembered remains dumped in the Royal Canal.
In another murder in January 2012, Malawian student Rudo Mawere (26) was stuffed into a suitcase and brought by taxi to Blackhorse Avenue where the body was left beside a row of bins in the hope it would be picked up with the rubbish.
The search of Thorntons facility in Ballyfermot is expected to last for days in the hope that more finds will be made which will speed up the identification process.