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Gardai trawl Michaela's final contacts

GARDAI have seized a computer and mobile phone belonging to slain schoolgirl Michaela Davis.

Detectives were examining the items today as they continue their investigation into the 12-year-old's homicide.

Jonathan Byrne (18) has appeared in court charged with the girl's murder.

A trawl of Michaela's text messages and emails is now taking place, as well as an examination of any Facebook and Bebo sites she may have visited.

It will help gardai piece together a more detailed picture of her relationships in the months before she died.

It comes as Michaela's family and friends prepare to say a final goodbye to their loved one at her funeral tomorrow.

Her parents Deirdre and Brendan and her brother, 16-year-old Brendan Jnr, are picking out her favourite tracks, including songs from pop group JLS.

Investigating gardai want to find out who Michaela was in contact with in the days and weeks before she was killed.

Meanwhile, the heartbroken Davis family have brought Michaela home for a final time. Her coffin was carried into their house in Porterstown, West Dublin, before her wake.

She will be laid to rest following a funeral mass in the church of St Mochta's, where she was confirmed only months ago. Her family held a vigil by her coffin last night.

Shop worker Jonathan Byrne (18), from nearby Clonsilla, has been charged with her murder.

The garda cordon has now been removed from the lonely spot where the body of the 12-year-old's body was found dumped after she was killed.

Lying between the railway line and the canal, it was here that a missing person's investigation suddenly became a murder inquiry.

The brambles and weeds have now been extensively cut away by investigating gardai, laying bare the crudeness of the small hollow in the bank.

Today, the picture of Michaela's final movements could be traced more clearly than before after gardai lifted the cordon on the Porterstown Road near her house.

Michaela left her home at the bottom of the cul-de-sac of her estate, The Village, just off the Portersown Road. After cycling up to the main road, it appears she turned left and crossed the road.

Here, gardai have sealed off a playing field beside her old St Mochta's School, and included in that search zone is a stretch of the pitch that leads back down to the canal, but away from the main road. Hundreds of yards down the canal bank, on the far side of the water, is the spot where Michaela's body was found.

Gardai are now trying to establish exactly how she got there.

While trying to find answers to those questions, gardai have cut back the briars and weeds that had grown thick and lush all along the canal bank, all the way back up to the Porterstown Road near the entrance to her estate.

Early morning walkers and cyclists have started using the pathway again, and could be seen blessing themselves as they passed the place where Michaela's body lay undiscovered for a night.

hnews@herald.ie


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