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Saturday 20 October 2018

Knife was 'hanging out of chest' of man found with 36 stab wounds at murder 'bloodbath' in flat

Anne Colomines with her husband Renato Gehlen
Anne Colomines with her husband Renato Gehlen

A man discovered with 36 stab wounds at the scene where his wife was murdered had a knife "hanging out of his chest" when gardai entered their Dublin home.

Brazilian national Renato Gehlen (35) is still in a serious condition in hospital following the incident.

His wife, financial executive Anne Colomines (37), died after being stabbed several times in the body and neck in what has been described as a "bloodbath".

The Herald has learned that the chief suspect in the murder is claiming self-defence, but investigators do not believe the claim to be plausible.

Gardai believe that the young Frenchwoman was murdered by a man known to her, who admitted to the killing in a call to 999 operators.

They are also attempting to establish if the attack was premeditated, and say there is nothing yet to suggest that her killer acted in self-defence.

The victim's husband, Mr Gehlen (35), is currently recovering in hospital after undergoing emergency surgery on Wednesday morning.

Mr Gehlen was discovered at the Dorset Square apartment with 36 knife wounds, and emergency workers discovered him with a knife "hanging out of his chest".

"The scene was an absolute bloodbath when gardai entered the apartment, and the victim's husband still had a knife stuck in his chest. It was a horrific sight," a source said.

Investigators are anxious to interview Mr Gehlen as he will be able to shed light on what occurred in the apartment on Tuesday night.

Tributes

Forensics officers at the scene following the death of Anne Colomines
Forensics officers at the scene following the death of Anne Colomines

However, detectives have not yet been able to formally interview him as he has not yet been medically cleared.

The critically injured man suffered stab wounds to his chest, arms and neck, as well as the torso, and was continuing to be treated at the Mater Hospital last night.

Tributes have been paid to Ms Colomines, with a close friend and former colleague describing her as a "kind and fun-loving friend".

"She was a very kind person. At work, she was very hardworking and always happy to help others. I didn't know anyone who disliked her," her friend, who asked not to be identified, told the Herald.

"Anne spent a lot of time volunteering with homeless cats. She loved her cat, Kitty, with all her heart.

"She was quiet and worked a lot but enjoyed going out for dinner with friends. Her friends and her family made her really happy. Anne was such a kind, fun-loving friend who wore her heart on her sleeve. She'll be missed so much."

Gardai were alerted to the incident at about 11.30pm on Tuesday night, with a number of Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) crews also attending the scene.

Members of the garda Armed Support Unit (ASU) also responded to the call-out due to the nature of the report.

Ms Colomines was pronounced dead at the scene. A knife, believed to be the weapon used in the killing, was recovered in the aftermath of the crime.

A murder investigation has been launched by detectives at Mountjoy Garda Station, who are appealing for anyone with information in relation to the killing to come forward.

Ms Colomines was an animal lover and on several occasions she referenced the Phibsboro Cat Rescue charity on her social media account.

The organisation confirmed that she had been in touch with it in the past with a view to volunteering and carrying out fundraising activities.

Executive

"She was a really kind lady. We are very sad to hear what has happened," said a spokeswoman for the charity.

Ms Colomines was from Charente-Maritime, on the French south-west coast, and it is understood she moved to Dublin in 2013.

She had been working with PayPal as a financial executive in its Dublin base at the time of her death.

A forensic examination of the scene was carried out by the Garda Technical Bureau on Wednesday morning, while a representative of the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recovered a cat from the apartment.

Dorset Square, where the killing occurred, is a large modern block of apartments built behind the period houses on Gardiner Street and close to the Dorset Street junction.

The underground car park is accessed by a lane at the rear of the apartments and it was at this car park that an ambulance arrived at noon on Wednesday to take Ms Colomines' body for a post-mortem.

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