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Sighting of ‘unusual activity’ prompts search for body

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Jo Jo Dullard.

Jo Jo Dullard.

Deirdre Jacob.

Deirdre Jacob.

/

Jo Jo Dullard.

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THE search currently under way for Deirdre Jacob in woodland close to the Kildare, west Wicklow boarder was prompted by a witness who claims to have sighted a car with an open boat parked near to the wooded area just hours after she went missing on July 28, 1998.

The search started last Monday week and is expected to last for another two weeks and will cover an area of around four acres.

A witness informed Gardaí that they had spotted a car in a field beside the wood off a road which is now disused, in the early evening of the day Ms Jacob first disappeared. The witness saw what is being described as “unusual activity” involving the car, and was able to provide Gardai with a description.

Ms Jacob was last seen about 1.5km outside her home in Newbridge. The last sighting of the 18-year-old was from CCTV footage at an Irish Permanent office on the town’s Main Street at around 3 p.m..

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Up to 15 members of the Divisional Search Team will scour the land each day, assisted by other units and forensic specialists.

Ms Jacob’s disappearance was treated officially by Gardaí as a missing persons case until August 2018, when it was upgraded to a murder investigation.

While the search relates to Ms Jacob’s disappearance,
Gardaí are also conscious of the fact that Jo Jo Dullard was last seen only a short distance away in the town of Moone.

21-year-old Ms Dullard vanished without trace from Moone on November 9, 1995. She was in a phone box talking to a friend to tell her of her whereabouts, when a car pulled up for Ms Dullard.

Notorious rapist Larry Murphy remains the chief suspect
in the murder of Ms Jacob and the remote area of woodland currently being searched is close to where Mr Murphy lived at the time of her disappearance.

The DPP is still considering whether the convicted rapist should face criminal charges after detectives submitted an extensive file into his alleged involvement in her suspected kidnapping and murder. The garda file outlines the evidence against Murphy and was
submitted in February of last year.


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