Murder probe after 7ft 6in Russian dies following party attack
GARDAI believe that a giant Russian man was attacked and killed in a drunken row at a party because of his height and nationality.
Detectives in Kerry have launched a murder investigation following the death of Dmitry Hrynkevich (24), the third-tallest man in Ireland at 7ft 6in (2.32m), at Killeen Wood, Tralee, last Wednesday.
Mr Hrynkevich was found lying on the front lawn of a property in the estate shortly after 10.30pm with serious head injuries and was taken to Kerry General Hospital.
He was placed on a life- support machine, but never regained consciousness.
He died on Friday evening with his heartbroken family by his side.
Supt Jim O'Connor described the incident as "very serious" given the injuries Mr Hryn-kevich sustained.
"This is a very serious matter and we appealing for help from the public," he said.
For operational reasons, gardai have declined to release the results of the post-mortem examination conducted at Kerry General Hospital by the State Pathologist's Office.
But it is understood that Mr Hrynkevich suffered catastrophic head injuries consistent with a brutal and prolonged attack.
Mr Hrynkevich is understood to have attended the Killeen Wood property with a number of other people on Wednesday for a party.
He was born in Russia but grew up in Killarney, where he had addresses at Aghadoe and Bishop's Court. The Herald understands he had been targeted before because of his height. Even in his early teens, he had stood more than six feet tall.
Two men were arrested by gardai in the vicinity of Killeen Woods on Wednesday evening. Both were questioned at Tralee Garda Station before being released without charge.
The pair, in their late 20s and early 30s, are eastern European nationals though neither is Russian. Both have addresses in the Kerry area.
Gardai sealed off the semi- detached house which is located in a quiet cul-de-sac.
Officers then carried out door-to-door inquiries and conducted a detailed forensic examination of the scene.
Investigating gardai are appealing for witnesses, or anyone who could provide background information, to come forward.
They are appealing particularly to anyone who was in the vicinity of Killeen Woods at the time of the incident to contact them.
Detectives believe a number of people were in the property in question on Wednesday evening and have appealed to them to contact gardai in Tralee, even if they had left before the incident occurred.
They are also keen to clarify Mr Hrynkevich's movements on Wednesday.
Gardai are convinced that the fatal attack began inside the property before spilling out on to the front lawn.
Locals expressed shock at the tragedy.
"I had heard that there was some kind of a party taking place at the house," one local man said.
"When I came back to my own house on Wednesday night there were a load of guards around the place.
"That was the first time I heard that there had been an assault and that someone had been hurt."