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Gardai recommend murder charge over missing Deirdre case

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Missing Deirdre Jacob

Missing Deirdre Jacob

Missing Deirdre Jacob

Gardai have completed their inquiries into the murder of trainee teacher Deirdre Jacob nearly 22 years ago and have submitted a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Investigating officers have recommended that a murder charge should arise from the outcome of their inquiries, which focused on a small number of suspects in the past few years.

They included the main "person of interest" Larry Murphy, who served 10 years of a 15-year prison sentence after he was convicted in 2001 of the abduction, rape and attempted murder of a woman, who was found in the boot of his car in the Dublin mountains.

Ms Jacob was last seen crossing the road towards the entrance to her home at Roseberry, Newbridge, Co Kildare, at around 3pm on July 28, 1998.

She was 18-years-old at the time.

Her disappearance was treated officially by gardai as a missing persons case until August 2018, when it was formally upgraded to a murder investigation.

This decision to reclassify the case followed the emergence of new information.

The name of one person, in particular, had been mentioned at previous case conferences, but until then officers had been unable to unearth any firm evidence that potentially implicated this person in the disappearance.

The additional information was regarded as substantial enough by senior investigators, Chief Superintendent Brian Sutton and Superintendent Martin Walker, to officially launch a murder investigation with the assistance of members of the garda cold case unit.

Murphy became a person of interest after it emerged he had visited the shop owned by Ms Jacob's grandmother, Bridget O'Grady, in Newbridge.

Ms Jacob was a regular visitor to the shop and had called in there on the day she disappeared.

Murphy was interviewed in prison by gardai involved in the case, but denied any involvement in her disappearance.

Helpful

Officers also flew to London in 2018 and put further questions to Murphy, but he refused to answer them.

However, they did interview an associate of Murphy in relation to information which they believed might be helpful.

Lines of inquiry involving other persons of interest were also fully pursued.

Last month, officers decided they had exhausted all avenues open to them and put the finishing touches to the file, which was submitted to the DPP in the past fortnight.