herald

Friday 21 September 2018

New information in hunt for Tina as forest search ends

Truck driver Richard Satchwell
Truck driver Richard Satchwell

The search for missing Tina Satchwell has taken a new twist after gardai said they have received new information and are planning several searches.

The revelation came as off-icers ended a major search in an east Cork forest after failing to find any clues during a 12-day operation.

Next Tuesday marks the first anniversary of Ms Satchwell's disappearance from her home in the Co Cork seaside town of Youghal.

Dogs

A team of 60 had been painstakingly searching Mitchel's Wood outside Castlemartyr since March 5 without any breakthrough in the hunt for Ms Satchwell, who disappeared without trace last March 20.

Gardai oversaw a major operational review yesterday, when the decision was made to begin winding down the search.

Specialist teams with sniffer dogs from the UK left the scene several days ago, and additional Defence Forces units, which had been scheduled to be deployed, will not now be needed.

All search assets remain deployed at Mitchel's Wood but will gradually be removed over the next 48 hours.

Gardai confirmed their search was now over but said that new information had come to light thanks to the intense publicity and repeated garda appeals.

"A number of items recovered during the course of this search will now be examined to establish whether they are related to the disappearance of Tina," a garda spokesman said.

"Gardai would also like to thank members of the public who have come forward with new information which will now be investigated.

"The site remains closed to the public until further notice."

While items of interest have been uncovered by the search team, nothing of significance is believed to have been found in 12 days of intensive operations in the forest and scrubland.

Items removed for analysis at the State Laboratory - including fragments of clothing - are only being checked on a precautionary basis.

Gardai earmarked 40 acres of the woodland as a priority search area.

Adjacent streams and rivers were also searched by the Garda Sub Aqua Unit.

Suitcases

Ms Satchwell, who is originally from Fermoy, went missing from her home while her English-born truck driver husband Richard claims he was on an errand to Dungarvan, Co Waterford.

When he returned, he says he spotted Ms Satchwell's keys on the floor.

Two suitcases were missing, as well as items of clothing. However, her dog, Ruby, was left alone in the house.

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