herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

Mum-of-three murdered in horror hostel stab frenzy

  • Neighbours heard ‘screams and shouts’ from city apartment
  • Suspect quizzed by gardai as security guards also assaulted
Gardai probe the apartments where the body of Skaidrite Valdgeima was found. Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney
Gardai probe the apartments where the body of Skaidrite Valdgeima was found. Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

A young mother-of-three was stabbed to death in a "frenzied" attack in a city centre apartment yesterday morning.

Latvian national Skaidrite Valdgeima (34), who was living in the Deerpark Walk estate in Blessington, Co Wicklow, has been described as a loving mother and friendly neighbour.

A 22-year-old man remained in garda custody last night where he was being quizzed about the stab murder.

"It's just so heartbreaking. She was a loving mother of three young girls who was always seen outside playing with them," one local in Blessington told the Herald.

"I can't even begin to imagine the devastation her family feel at the moment.

"I didn't believe it when I first heard the news. Although I didn't know her that well, she was so friendly to us when we first moved in here."

Upsetting

"It's just so shocking and upsetting, especially since she was a mother," another said.

Senior sources told the Herald that the tragic victim was stabbed multiple times in the "frenzied assault" which happened shortly after 3.30am.

The young man in custody is a Lithuanian national who had been living in the apartment recently and is understood to have been known to Ms Valdgeima.

"This was a very frenzied assault - the victim was stabbed multiple times in the body and the neck," a senior source explained.

Gardai are not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident at Aparto Binary Hub apartment complex in the Bonham Street area of Dublin 8.

A senior source said people who lived near the apartment "heard screaming and shouting" coming from the property.

When they went to investigate, they saw a man standing over the critically injured woman armed with a knife.

They attempted to confront him, but he ran away.

Two security guards outside the apartment complex, which is used for student accommodation and short holiday visits, were also assaulted during the incident.

Two unarmed, uniformed gardai, responding to reports of a stabbing, then "tackled a man to the ground" at Bridgefoot Street.

The officers also managed to secure a knife which is the suspected murder weapon.

After being taken into custody, the man was briefly treated in hospital before being taken to Kevin Street Garda Station where he was questioned throughout yesterday.

Ms Valdgeima was taken to St James's Hospital, but was pronounced dead a short time later.

"She never stood a chance with the injuries that were inflicted on her," the source said.

A motive for the shocking attack has not been established, while it is also unclear what the woman was doing at the south inner city apartment.

Members of the Garda Technical Bureau arrived at the scene shortly after 9.30am yesterday to carry out a forensic examination.

Their initial enquiries focused on the inside of the entrance door at the hostel.

They later carried out an examination of the room where the stabbing took place.

Two crime scenes were sealed off: the area around the hostel was cordoned off on Bonham Street while a separate crime scene was in place at Bridgefoot Street.

A number of blue latex gloves were visible on Bridgefoot Street which appeared to cover blood marks.

Several uniformed and plain-clothed officers also examined both scenes for any potential evidence linked to the fatal stabbing.

Witnesses

Senior investigators also visited the scene yesterday as gardai continued to appeal for witnesses to contact them.

A post-mortem was due to be carried out on the victim yesterday afternoon.

A number of people who had been staying at the hostel remained outside yesterday morning as they were unable to return to their rooms.

Most of the groups were foreign nationals on holiday, including German and US tourists who said they did not know what had happened and were surprised to be told of the serious incident.

Following the fatal stabbing gardai confirmed that a male was arrested and taken to Kevin Street Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

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