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Gardai launch new appeal in murder case

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Gardai have renewed their appeal for information regarding the violent murder of a young woman in Dublin 18 years ago.

Belinda Pereira (26) who had been living in the United Kingdom but was visiting Ireland, was found dead on December 29, 1996.

It is thought that Ms Pereira was bludgeoned to death with a blunt instrument.

She had arrived in the capital on Christmas Eve that week, planning to return home on New Year's Day.

It is also thought that Ms Pereira had been working as a prostitute out of the apartment on Mellor's Court, Liffey Street, where she was found dead by her landlord.

Gardai believe she knew her killer or felt that she was not in any immediate danger, as there were no defensive wounds present on her body and also no sign of forced entry into her apartment.

She is said to have travelled to Dublin after replying to an advertisement in a magazine by an Irish pimp.

Belinda Pereira was born in London to Sri Lankan parents who had moved to Britain in the mid-Sixties and was the couple's only daughter.

She had left school when she was 16 and had worked in several short-term jobs including as a temporary shorthand typist.

Her work as a prostitute was unknown to her family.

Belinda had visited Dublin before on at least one occasion, in October 1996, when she stayed for between a week and 10 days.

Visits

She explained these trips to her parents as visits to a friend. She had already worked from a flat with other prostitutes for short periods in Norwich before she came to Dublin.

Gardai undertook more than 600 lines of inquiry during the investigation into the murder, including statements, fingerprints and blood samples.

Detectives investigating the cold case believe that her killer may have confided in someone about the crime, and that this person should come forward with any information they have.

Investigating officers from Store Street Station have made several appeals over the last two decades, but so far the case remains unsolved.

In a statement gardai said they "understand that people may still, even after 18 years, be reluctant to come forward with information regarding Belinda's death.

"Investigating officers know that there are people who were close to the persons involved at the time and have details which would give some closure to the victim's family," they added.

Gardai are appealing to those people to do the right thing, make contact now and provide the information in their possession to the investigation team at Store Street garda station on 01 6668000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any garda station.

hnews@herald.ie


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