herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Gardai anxious to quiz male friend over fears woman was murdered

Garda Forensic Team (Garda Technical Bureau) arrive at the crime scene in Coolmine Woods
Garda Forensic Team (Garda Technical Bureau) arrive at the crime scene in Coolmine Woods

Gardai probing the "suspicious" death of a woman whose badly-decomposed body was found in a Dublin woods are eager to track down a man for questioning over the gruesome discovery.

The remains of Linda Christian were found in undergrowth in the Coolmine area of the capital shortly before 2pm yesterday.

The 29-year-old had been missing for more than three weeks and gardai had raised serious concerns about her well-being.

Her remains were in a decomposed state and sources have said that the death is being treated as "very suspicious" and they fear she was the victim of foul play.

A number of lines of inquiry are being investigated by officers at Blanchardstown Garda Station and it is being examined whether she met a violent end.

It has also emerged that gardai are attempting to establish the whereabouts of a male friend of Ms Christian, who may have key information in relation to her disappearance.

However, detectives fear that this man has left the country in the last three weeks and are in the process of tracking him down.

Anxious

"He is a person of interest in this investigation and officers are anxious to question him about anything he may know," a source said last night.

"But he has left the jurisdiction at the moment and gardai are trying to track him down."

The cause of death has not yet been established and a post-mortem examination will be carried out today.

Gardai at the scene where the body of Linda Christian was discovered
Gardai at the scene where the body of Linda Christian was discovered

Ms Christian was first reported missing on June 24 and gardai issued a number of fresh appeals in recent days.

When her remains were discovered yesterday, she was wearing the same clothes as when she was last seen.

Sources last night said that a DNA sample may be required to formally identify the woman.

The scene is located between Clonsilla Road and Snugborough Road and close to the Blanchardstown Centre shopping complex.

The search was carried out by the DMR West Divisional Search Unit after receiving information on the whereabouts of Ms Christian's remains.

It is understood that she was adopted, and gardai were last night in the process of notifying her adopted family, as well as her biological parents, of the tragedy.

Linda Christian
Linda Christian

Shock

The area remained sealed off yesterday, and the scene was attended by senior gardai, including Supt William Carolan, who is leading the investigation.

A technical examination of the scene where Ms Christian's body was found was carried out by a Garda forensic team.

State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy also carried out a preliminary examination of the body before it was removed.

Local people expressed their shock at the news.

"That is shocking. I would normally walk the dog up this road. It's a very busy main road, that area is a bit more secluded. The poor girl," one local woman said.

Gardai first appealed for information in relation to Ms Christian's disappearance on July 3. She was reported missing on June 24, and when last seen she was wearing a green bomber jacket, blue jeans and carrying a pink gym bag.

Sources said she was being treated in hospital at the time of her disappearance.

Last Wednesday, another fresh call for information was issued by gardai, while another appeal was made on Saturday.

In the most recent appeal, Ms Christian's family and gardai expressed "serious concern" about her welfare.

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