Relief as Amy ruled out in grim find

Alan O'Keeffe

The mother of missing teenager Amy Fitzpatrick expressed relief today that parts of a skeleton found in a stream in the Costa del Sol were not her daughter's remains.

Audrey Fitzpatrick told the Herald today she continues to hope that Amy is alive following her disappearance in Spain more than two years ago.

"A friend was in contact with the police who told him that the remains were definitely not Amy. The police still have not said if the skeleton was a man, woman or child but at least we can continue to hope she is alive," she said.

The Dublin teenager had moved to Spain with her mother, brother Dean, and her mother's partner Dave Mahon a few years before she vanished on the night of January 1, 2008, near her home in Calahonda.

Amy's aunt Christine Kenny said today that Amy's father Christopher Fitzpatrick, who lives in Dublin, had been in contact with her after becoming deeply concerned about reports in an English-language newspaper in Spain that a skeleton had been found around 60km from Amy's home.

Christine, a sister of Christopher, said she had been trying to contact the Department of Foreign Affairs last night but was relieved by reassurances the find was not connected with Amy.

Franco Rey, a Spanish friend of Audrey, said police believed the remains were the leg of a human skeleton.

Police believe it could have been washed into the stream by heavy flooding from a burial grounds. Nonetheless, DNA testing was proceeding, he said.