GARDAI have ruled out foul play in the Blathnaid Timothy case after analysis of her internet records.
As the hopes of the Timothy family faded today, it emerged that gardai gleaned important information from Blathnaid's computer records after she disappeared.
Officers took possession of the missing woman's computer shortly after she was reported missing.
After examining the computer hard drive, and internet activity on the machine prior to her disappearance, they effectively dismissed a motive of foul play, the Herald understands.
The focus of the search for the missing IT worker switched to Howth last weekend after the taxi driver who brought her there finally came forward.
Hopes for Blathnaid's safe return are now fading fast, as officers searched the waters there yesterday.
Blathnaid's brother Ronan has said that his family is now seeking closure three weeks after she went missing.
"We are not very optimistic . . . at this stage, the possibility is not good," he said.
"It's unfortunate but what we need now is closure. The focus is on the water but we will have to wait and see."
The coast guard and gardai have began searching the sea off the coast of Howth for any sign of the missing 33-year-old.
It is understood both the coast guard and the garda water unit are tracking tide movements and interviewing local fishermen in the Howth region.
Low-altitude searches are also being carried out by the coastguard helicopter.
Garda divers are understood to have entered the water around Howth over the weekend.
After a large-scale media and garda campaign, the taxi driver who was spotted giving Blathnaid a lift on the day of her disappearance came forward to say that he had dropped her off in Howth.
Gardai are now satisfied that the last positive sighting of Blathnaid was on Harbour Road in Howth village at 8.30pm on Tuesday, December 14.
Prior to this, the last sighting was at an ATM at Sir Rogerson's Quay at 8pm on December 14. She was caught on CCTV taking €60 from the ATM before hailing down a black Mercedes taxi.
The camera failed to pick up the taxi plate number or the car registration number because of the angle of the car.
The missing person's team, led by Detective Inspector Michael Cryan, identified and interviewed the driver on Saturday last.
He confirmed to gardai that he drove Blathnaid to Harbour Road in Howth, a place she had mentioned many times before her disappearance.
He initially said he could not recall taking Blathnaid in his taxi and had to check through global satellite system records to confirm where his taxi had been on the relevant date.
He received those records earlier this week, which confirmed that he was on Sir John Rogerson's Quay on the day in question. The Trinity College graduate and former Coca-Cola and KPMG executive is originally from Glenamaddy in Co Galway.
However, she had been living in Dublin for some years in shared a flat in Smith Hall.
Blathnaid's family and gardai are appealing to people in the Howth region who may have seen her to come forward.
Gardai say there were a lot of people in the Howth area at the same time Blathnaid was there.
Anyone with information can contact gardai on 01 6669500 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.