herald

Friday 20 July 2018

Murdered Ana (14) stripped, beaten in head and left to die at derelict farm

The body of Ana Kriegel was found at a derelict farmhouse in Lucan
The body of Ana Kriegel was found at a derelict farmhouse in Lucan

Gardai investigating the brutal murder of a 14-year-old schoolgirl believe she was stripped, beaten and left to die at a west Dublin farmhouse shortly after her parents reported her missing on Monday.

The naked body of Anastasia Kriegel, also known as Ana, was discovered at a farmhouse off the Clonee Road in Lucan yesterday afternoon.

She died from severe blunt trauma to the head.

One source told the Herald that the murder scene was "horrific", adding: "There was a lot of blood. It was awful."

Last night, sources said a "significant line" in the murder investigation was that Ana may have been killed by someone who was known to her.

Distressed

Gardai are trying to establish if this person was with the schoolgirl in St Catherine's Park, Lucan, when she was last seen alive.

A first-year student at Confey Community College, Ana was described as a "striking teenager", who was well-known within her school and local community.

Investigators said her family have been left extremely distressed by her murder.

Local gardai are receiving assistance from a number of garda units, including detectives from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI).

Ana, from Leixlip, was last seen in St Catherine's Park at around 5.30pm on Monday.

Ana Kriegel
Ana Kriegel

Her family grew increasingly concerned when she did not return home, and contacted Leixlip Garda Station at around 8pm.

A search operation was launched involving local officers, the garda Water Unit and the Civil Defence.

Following a three-day search, Ana's remains were discovered at the derelict farmhouse on the Clonee Road, around 2km from where she was last seen.

The scene was preserved and the property was examined by members of the Garda Technical Bureau yesterday afternoon.

St Catherine's Park, where Ana was last seen alive, is a popular spot frequented by families and tourists, as well as a venue used by several sports teams.

The 200-acre site, which was searched by gardai for three days, stretches from Lucan to Leixlip and the nearby Clonee area.

Drug

However, only a few hundred metres away, toward the Clonee Road, the derelict property where Ana was discovered is a far bleaker place.

The farmhouse and surrounding properties have been derelict for many years, and are regularly frequented by local youths as a place to hang out.

Over the years the remnants of teen drinking sessions have built up at the farmhouse, which has been set on fire on a number of occasions.

The inside is littered with empty beer cans and bottles and drug paraphernalia, while graffiti is scrawled throughout the large, two-storey building.

The staircases are almost completely destroyed, while all of the large windows have been smashed by vandals.

Local TD Catherine Murphy, of the Social Democrats, said she had been close friends with Ana's family for decades.

She said she last spoke to Ana's parents on Wednesday night.

Ana had been due to return home at around 5.30pm on Monday. When she was not contactable, her parents went to the local garda station almost immediately.

"They're absolutely heartbroken, that's how they are," Ms Murphy said.

"They didn't waste any time when she didn't turn up at home. Not communicating with her family was out of character entirely.

"They went to the guards at 8.30pm. This was just not like her." Ms Murphy said the young teenager loved dogs and had a tight-knit group of friends.

"Ana was tall for her age, but she was a big kid," she said.

"She loved dogs, she'd have you pestered about what type of dog was this or that."

It is understood that Anna was also involved in the performing arts, practising at a dance academy in Leixlip, which cancelled its classes last night.

At 6pm, State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy arrived at the scene to conduct a preliminary examination of Ana's body.

Privacy

A post-mortem examination is expected to take place this morning.

Speaking near the scene where Ana was last seen alive, Supt John Gordon said detectives were following a number of lines of inquiry.

"We have a full investigation, we have the Technical Bureau, an incident room has been established and we are also receiving assistance from the NBCI and other external garda agencies as well," he said.

"As you can imagine at this time her family are receiving a lot of support from An Garda Siochana but they are extremely distressed and they are also looking for the public's assistance and privacy at his time as well.

"They have another child in that house as well, so of course they have to be very careful around that."

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