herald

Thursday 29 June 2017

Violent death probed after torso found in a bag in the mountains

Officers have begun a trawl of missing persons files, however it is understood they believe the victim may have been murdered recently
Officers have begun a trawl of missing persons files, however it is understood they believe the victim may have been murdered recently

Human remains found in an isolated area of the Wicklow mountains over the weekend, belonged to a person who met a "sinister" and "violent" death.

A torso was discovered in a bag in bushes on Military Road by a group of people returning from a picnic at around 7.45pm on Saturday evening.

So far investigators have been unable to establish how long the remains had been left there but believe it was "recent enough".

The sex of the victim has yet to be identified.

Superintendent Pat Ward of Bray Garda Station said a probe, similar to a murder investigation, has been launched and a local doctor had attended the scene.

Trawl

"The body was removed for a short period to the Mater Hospital for X-ray and post mortem at the city morgue in Whitehall," Supt Ward said yesterday.

He added that gardai would have no further information about the victim until the post mortem was completed.

Officers have begun a trawl of missing persons files, however it is understood they believe the victim may have been murdered recently.

"We don't know the gender of the person at this particular moment in time," Supt Ward said.

"We believe that the person who died came to their death by sinister means.

"The type of investigation we are undertaking is comparable to a murder investigation, we're putting as much resources and effort into it."

Supt Ward said the future status of the investigation would be determined by the post-mortem results.

Searches at the site by the Co Wicklow divisional search team, were continuing last night for any other remains of the victim.

Gardai closed off a large section of Military Road at the junction of the Peace and Reconciliation Centre, Glencree to the Feather Beds junction.

Local parish priest, Fr Larry Behan, said the find was a "terrible tragedy".

"We don't know who it is. We weren't asked to remember anybody in weekend prayers and as far as I know, no one is missing locally."

Closure

The search location is in an isolated area of the Wicklow Mountains.

Throughout the day, a steady stream of motorists and cyclists approached Military Road, at Glencree, only to be turned away by a lone garda signalling the road closure.

At the quiet cafe of the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, a few hundred metres away from the road block, most people had no idea about the find made last night.

Supt Ward said gardai are interested in talking to anyone who used the road, including workers for Coillte, the National Parks and Wildlife Service or ESB Networks, and might have seen anything suspicious, in recent weeks or the "most immediate" past.

Officers can be contacted at Bray Garda Station on 01-666 5300, the Garda Confidential Line 1800-666-111 or any garda station.

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