herald

Monday 16 July 2018

Vehicles seized in hunt for dad's machete killers

Machete murder victim Mikolaj Wilk and his wife, Elzbieta
Machete murder victim Mikolaj Wilk and his wife, Elzbieta

Gardai investigating the gruesome murder of Mikolaj Wilk have raided seven properties and seized nine vehicles in the greater Cork area.

The vehicles are being examined to see if they are linked to the death of the 35-year-old Pole, who was killed outside Ballincollig nearly two weeks ago.

It is understood the properties include six houses and an industrial unit.

No arrests have been made, said gardai.

Sources said officers are making "steady but significant progress" into the murder of the father-of-two.

Mr Wilk, who ran a successful gardening business in Cork, was murdered at his home - The Bridge House, Maglin, outside Ballincollig - at 3am on Sunday, June 10. He was hacked to death with machetes by a four-man gang.

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Gardai said it was one of the most brutal killings ever to occur in Cork.

Mr Wilk was killed in front of his wife, Elzbieta, and their two children.

Mrs Wilk was seriously wounded as she tried to protect herself and the children, who were unharmed. A woman who rented a room in the house fled uninjured.

A getaway car used by the gang was found burnt-out in the Waterfall area.

Detectives believe Mr Wilk may have been targeted by a criminal gang with international links. They think he may have unwittingly offended them through his gardening business, or may have borrowed money from the wrong people.

Officers also believe his murder could have been a warning to others.

They are examining CCTV footage from properties in Ballincollig, though the rural nature of Mr Wilk's home means there is no film of the immediate area.

Gardai are also examining Mr Wilk's phone records and business transactions to see if anyone held a grudge against him.

Detectives are trying to track down motorists who travelled in the Maglin area at the time of the murder. In particular, they want to talk to a taxi driver who dropped off a number of women three hours before Mr Wilk's death.

Detectives have interviewed the women and believe the driver may have spotted vehicle movements in the area.

A Special GoFundMe appeal set up to help the Wilk family has already raised more than €20,000.

Mr Wilk's body is expected to be flown home to Poland within days.

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