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Within weeks of arriving here, this young girl was kidnapped, raped and murdered

Marioara Rostas arrived into Ireland on a Ryanair flight on December 7, 2007 - within three weeks she would be dead.

When the eighteen-year-old joined her parents and younger brother here, it was with the hope that she would be able to carve out a better life for herself here.

While other girls her age are focused on boy bands and socialising, Marioara's life was more focused on survival - and that did not change with her arrival here as she took to the streets to beg.

Despite her dreams of having a family of her own one day, there was to be no happy ending for the pretty teenager.

When she touched down here, she was leaving behind a life of grinding poverty where she grew up in the small town of Tileagd, just a few miles from the Romanian border with Hungary.

The home Marioara, left behind was located in a "gypsy ghetto" with a population of less than 200 people, all living in overwhelming poverty.

The house in which the Rostas family lived was little more than a run down shack without electricity, water or sanitation, just pieces of wood and tin cobbled together providing the minimum of protection against the freezing conditions in winter.

Her parents and younger brother had already arrived in Ireland at some stage in the middle of 2007, and Marioara would soon follow them here.

The family's decision to come to Ireland was borne out of dire financial necessity - there simply was not enough money to feed 11 children ranging in age from 10 to 22.

Marioara had virtually no English and spent most of her days begging in Dublin city centre.

The family lived in a squalid derelict house in Donabate in north county Dublin which gardai said was "kept in an appalling way".

The abandoned cottage on the railway line on the outskirts of the town was home to up to 20 people.

There was no toilet facilities, running water or electricity.

Doors and windows were broken and the rain leaked through holes in the crumbling slate roof.

On the fateful Sunday afternoon she disappeared on January 6, 2008, Mariorara had been begging with her little brother Dumitru on Lombard Street in the south inner city.

A silver Ford Mondeo slowed down beside the black-haired girl, who was dressed in blue jeans, a three quarter-length black coat and a pink scarf.

Chatted

Her brother looked on as a dark-haired man rolled down the window and chatted with Marioara in broad daylight.

After a few moments, Marioara got into the car and Dumitru walked over to find out what was doing on.

The driver of the car gave the young boy €10 and said something about "Mc Donald's", but Dumitru couldn't understand everything he said.

He assumed that the motorist was taking his sister for something to eat at a nearby fast food restaurant. Dumitru would never see his big sister again.

The teen managed to make one chilling phone call the day after she disappeared. She called a brother back in Romania, because none of her family in Dublin had a mobile phone.

She told her brother that she believed she was driven around 100km away from where she lived and had been raped by men.

Illiterate and with barely any English, she desperately tried to spell out the street name where she was being held captive. She read out the letters B, R, I and D but it was simply not enough for the family to trace her.

Tragic evidence in the court case revealed that her father went to garda stations several times to report his daughter missing, but couldn't make himself understood.

He returned three days later with a translator.

The discovery of her body in a shallow grave in the Dublin mountains some four years later, shattered any hopes that she was still alive.

Her body was wrapped and hidden beneath the soil in a forest in Co Wicklow.

Her family had already left the country after the harrowing loss of their daughter.

Marioara had loved her brothers and sisters, and took care of them "like they were her own children".

Her dad, also called Dumitru spoke about his "angel girl".

"She was a beautiful girl," he said.

"She never went to school but her biggest dream was to have a family of her own and to have a husband and kids," he added.

Following the teenager's disappearance, her mother, also called Marioara, initially had kept up hope her daughter would be found alive.

"But after a while, I realised she was dead somewhere. I just knew. I think it's a mother's intuition," she said.

When her body was finally found, Marioara's parents returned to Ireland to view her remains at a southside funeral home, before returning home again for the emotional burial of the young woman.

Gardai also travelled from Ireland to attend the funeral to show their solidarity with the heartbroken family.

She was laid to rest in the local graveyard as an Orthodox priest tried to provide solace with prayers.

Some of her meagre treasured possessions were placed in her coffin by her grief-stricken parents.

A favourite red t-shirt, one of just three that she owned, a plastic watch, and a pair of much loved Nike trainers were buried with her.

Her father said simply: "I wanted her home as soon as possible because her place is with us."

fdillon@herald.ie


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