The family of a woman killed 12 years ago has thanked the Gardaí for keeping her case open, and has appealed for her body to be returned to them.
Forty-eight-year-old Martin Earley from Banagher, Carrowmore Lacken in Co Mayo was today charged with the murder of Sandra Collins in December 2000.
The 29-year-old victim was last seen in the Killala area of Co Mayo 12 years ago. She left her aunt's house at about 8pm to go to the shops. About three hours later, at about 11pm, she was seen in a local chip shop where she bought two bags of chips. She was never seen again and her body has never been found.
Tom Sheil of the Connacht Telegraph said the family worked hard to keep the case open.
"It's a heart-rending story really, trying to keep the case alive (and) going to the newspapers. The family got good support from the gardaí (and today) thanked the gardaí for keeping their finger on what has been a difficult investigation for them."
Sandra's brother Patrick said the family's dearest wish now was to get her remains back to give her a decent burial and put some flowers on her grave.