herald

Saturday 20 October 2018

Jastine goes home 10 days after abduction and murder horror

The body of Jastine Valdez was taken to Dublin Airport yesterday for repatriation. Photo: Collins
The body of Jastine Valdez was taken to Dublin Airport yesterday for repatriation. Photo: Collins

The body of tragic student Jastine Valdez has been returned home to the Philippines, 10 days after her horrific murder.

A coffin carrying the body of the 24-year-old, who was abducted and killed on May 19, was pictured leaving Thomas Murphy and Sons funeral home yesterday morning in a black hearse after laying in repose since Friday.

She was taken straight to Dublin Airport in a mahogany coffin, followed by her heartbroken parents Teresita and Danilo.

Consul for the Philippines Mark Christopher Congdon also accompanied the family, assisting them on the long journey to their hometown of Aritao.

A funeral service will be held later this week, it is understood.

In a statement on Monday, Mr Congdon said the "spirit of love and compassion" has shone from the Valdez home "like a beacon of light in a dark tunnel of torment".

"Jastine will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Always in the hearts of Mum and Dad and the hearts of the Filipino and Irish nations bound together forever in grief in Jastine's name," he added.

Jastine was murdered by evil killer Mar k Hennessy.

The father-of-two dumped her body in an area of heavy gorse off Puck's Castle Lane in south Dublin. The following day, Hennessy was shot and killed by gardai following an extensive manhunt.

Heartbreak

A memorial service for Jastine was held at the weekend, where Mr Congdon told those present that Jastine's parents had shown incredible strength in the face of heartbreak.

"Tess and Dani understand this horrific pain and have shown incredible strength, understanding and sympathy for their plight while in the midst of the worst calamity imaginable," he said.

"Filipino and Irish, hand in hand, in solidarity, compassion and grief.

"That spirit has been expressed in many forms, in words and deep regret, in silent tears, in families coming together in a single home to pray for Jastine, Tess and Dani, in attending the many prayer vigils across communities scattered across Ireland."

Gardai recently issued an appeal to the public for information - particularly about Jastine's blue shoulder bag, which was purchased in Next.

Investigating gardai are also anxious to speak to any passengers who travelled with Jastine on the 185c bus on the night she was abducted.

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