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Sunday 25 August 2019

Jastine's family prays for slain student one year after horror

Tess and Danny Valdez and family prayed for Jastine. Photo: Collins
Tess and Danny Valdez and family prayed for Jastine. Photo: Collins

The heartbroken parents of murdered student Jastine Valdez have attended a memorial mass in honour of their beloved daughter, who was tragically killed a year ago.

Tess and Danny Valdez, as well as other bereaved family members, marked the one-year anniversary of the murder of the 24-year-old student at a mass at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, on Bachelors Walk in Dublin, yesterday.

The bizarre and horrific killing of the young woman unfolded in the picturesque village of Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, on Saturday, May 19, 2018.

Ms Valdez was returning to the village where she lived with her parents, who moved to Ireland from their native Philippines nearly three decades ago.

She had joined them only three years previously and was studying accountancy at the Institute of Technology, in Tallaght.

Jastine Valdez
Jastine Valdez

She had boarded a bus from Bray, Co Wicklow, and arrived in the village shortly after 6pm. Twenty minutes later, she was bundled into a car by married father-of-two Mark Hennessy (40), a construction worker from Bray, in what gardai believe was a completely opportunistic and random attack fuelled by his apparent drug and alcohol problems.

A witness rang 999 after her 12-year-old son saw a man forcing the student into the boot of a Nissan Qashqai at around 6.24pm.

Distressed

Around an hour later, another witness rang gardai after seeing a young woman in a distressed state banging on the back window of an SUV, sparking a massive manhunt for Hennessy, who would be shot dead by gardai the following day.

They found a note on his body, saying 'sorry' and 'Puck's (Castle) Lane', where her body was found the next day.

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