herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Mystery corpse parts 'dissolved in acid' - probe

Butchered body parts found in a Dublin waste-disposal plant may have been soaked in acid first to try to dissolve them.

In a scenario straight from US crime series Breaking Bad, the killers may have submerged the dismembered limbs in an acid bath or lime mixture in the hope they would be stripped to the bone quickly.

But when the process did not work correctly, or took too long, the killers or people who chopped up the body, may have panicked and dumped the remains in bins instead.

Tests on the body parts discovered at the Thornton's Waste Recycling facility on Ballyfermot's Killeen Road on July 31 have found traces of chemicals which are still being analysed.

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Gardai are still trying to identify who it was that was brutally killed and dismembered.

So far all that is known is that the victim was an adult male, possible aged between 25 and 45, who had undergone some sort of neurological brain surgery during his life.

The man, thought to have been between 5ft 8ins and 6ft tall, was also likely to have been a foreign national as investigations surrounding surgical screws found in his skull indicate that he was most likely operated on abroad.

No part of the man's face, teeth or hands have been found - making positive identification very difficult.

Tests are ongoing to try to determine the race or ethnicity of the victim.

The alarm was first raised when a Thornton's worker was sorting rubbish and found part of a human leg.

The plant was shut down immediately and a painstaking search by gardai through more than 1,000 tonnes of rubbish uncovered more of the leg, other pieces of flesh, and part of the skull.

The unusual case is set to feature on RTE's CrimeCall programme in the coming week.

Gardai appealed to surgeons who may be able to identify the man based on the fact that the victim had undergone bilateral craniotomies - a surgery arising from serious head trauma.

It is possible the man suffered neurological problems in the aftermath, such as seizures or epilepsy.

They have still not determined how he died.

It is understood that there is still "no solid lead" in the probe, despite 250 statements being taken and 300 lines of enquiry being followed.

Detective Superintendent Christy Mangan, who led the inquiry into the murder of Farah Noor, is leading the probe.

Mr Noor's headless body was found in March 2005 and it took months to identify him.

In what became known as the 'Scissor Sisters' case, Charlotte Mulhall was jailed for life for his murder, while her sister Linda was convicted of manslaughter.

Their mother Kathleen Mulhall, who was in a relationship with the victim, was also jailed for her role in the sick crime.

hnews@herald.ie

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