Latest: Man arrested in connection with discovery of female body parts in Wicklow

Latest: Man arrested in connection with discovery of female body parts in Wicklow
Members of the Garda water unit searches the River Vartry in the Wicklow Mountains.

Update 9pm: Gardaí have said that forensic examinations have indicated that the body parts found in Co Wicklow are those of a woman.

A man in his 30s has been arrested in Wexford this evening in connection with the discovery.

Superintendent Pat Ward of Bray Garda station said that he was "particular conscious" that the body was that of a loved one before revealing what he described as "gruesome details".

He said that the Gardaí had found limbs, pieces of torso, a head and hands and revealed the head and hands were located in plastic bags.

DNA samples have confirmed that the woman died within the last week. 

"The findings today and the extensive forensic examinations that have been carried out now indicate that the body is that of a female, an adult female."

Superintendent Ward also made it clear that the body parts belong to one body.

"We are satisfied at this stage that we are talking about one body, not multiple bodies in the area," he said.

Gardaí said murder squad detectives were investigating whether the body parts were thrown from a moving vehicle, a car or a van, as it travelled along the route some time in the last week to 10 days.

The victim is believed to have been murdered any time between June 2 and Saturday June 10, when the first piece of torso was found by hill-walkers near Glencree Peace and Reconciliation Centre.

Update 8.10pm: It has been reported that some of the remains found in Co Wicklow are that of a woman.

DNA samples from a partial torso found on Military Road near Enniskerry on Saturday have shown that these remains are from a female.

Gardaí have said that more human remains have been discovered at two locations in the search area.

One of these are reportedly also from a woman.

So far there have been around eight discoveries of human remains at different locations in Co Wicklow.

Earlier, some of the remains were thought to be those of a man, but DNA has ruled that out in regards to the sample that has been returned.

Gardaí are waiting on the results of other samples.

Update 5.20pm: A head has been found in searches for the dismembered remains of a young man in the Wicklow Mountains.

The grim discovery was made in a plastic bag as search teams concentrated on a 30km zone along the Military Road from Glencree to Glenmacnass waterfall.

Gardaí said murder squad detectives were investigating if the body parts were thrown from a moving vehicle, a car or a van, as it travelled along the route some time in the last week to 10 days.

The dead man has not been identified.

Defence Forces personnel assist Garda officers searching the Military Road area in the Wicklow Mountains after human remains believed to be from a murdered young man were found in the area. PA.
Defence Forces personnel assist Garda officers searching the Military Road area in the Wicklow Mountains after human remains believed to be from a murdered young man were found in the area. PA.

The victim is believed to be a white man aged 25 or older who may have been killed any time after June 3 and his body cut up and dumped in rural Wicklow.

Gardaí said the latest discovery was made about 3km north of Glenmacnass waterfall, where two other pieces of remains were found.

The first part of the torso to be found was spotted by hillwalkers in undergrowth in a ditch off Military Road, near Glencree Peace and Reconciliation Centre, on Saturday evening.

The following day more remains were found at Glenmacnass.

Superintendent Pat Ward appealed for anyone who was driving or cycling on Military Road in the last fortnight and who had a dash-cam or GoPro camera fitted to come forward.

He also appealed for anyone who may have driven the route to contact gardaí so their vehicles can be eliminated from CCTV footage.

Update 4.23pm: A fifth set of remains, believed to be human, have been found in the Wicklow Mountains.

Officers uncovered the remains near Glenmacnass Waterfall after a torso was discovered in the area last weekend.

However, gardaí say they still do not know who the body parts belong to.

Superintendent Pat Ward is leading the investigation.

"Unfortunately we haven’t any comfort for anybody out there to say who it is or who it isn’t, but obviously this is the brother or the father of somebody so we’re going to every effort to ensure that we’re doing a full search."

Earlier: More than 100 Gardaí and soldiers are searching for the remains of a man in the Wicklow Mountains today.

Part of his torso was found on Saturday, followed by a leg and internal organs yesterday.

An official murder investigation has yet to be launched, but it is believed the man in his 20s died within the last 10 days and was dismembered by his killers.

Latest: Man arrested in connection with discovery of female body parts in Wicklow

Earlier: Tests are being carried out on two more sets of body parts found in the Wicklow Mountains yesterday.

Further human remains believed to be from a murdered young man were found dumped in different areas of the Wicklow Mountains.

Gardaí said more body parts were found by the force’s under water unit near the site of the second discovery, at Glenmacnass waterfall.

Defence Forces soldiers drafted in to support the massive search of forestry, bogland and undergrowth also found remains at Lough Brea Lower on Military Road.

A Garda spokesman said both scenes were being preserved for forensic examination.

The victim is believed to have been a white man aged in his 20s who was killed in the last week or fortnight. He has not been identified.

Hillwalkers made the first grim discovery on Saturday evening when a torso was spotted in undergrowth in a ditch off Military Road, near Glencree Peace and Reconciliation Centre.

The second gruesome find was made on Sunday evening when another part of the body was found near the Glenmacnass waterfall, about 20km south of the first crime scene.

The discovery by soldiers, only a couple of kilometres south of Glencree, came as searches intensified and spread over a 30km zone along Military Road.

Detectives are trawling missing persons reports and have yet to rule out a gangland motive.

Superintendent Pat Ward described the death as "sinister" and urged anyone who noticed anything suspicious in the area to come forward.

"We are also making comparisons with the missing persons database, but that has not indicated any information," he said.

"We are not concentrating on one particular avenue of investigation."

Other forensic tests are being carried out on the remains as well as X-rays in an effort to determine when the man died and how or when he was dismembered.

The search areas have been extended to cover about 30km sq of the national park and mountains, with gardaí being supported by members of the Defence Forces.

The scenic area where the first section of torso was discovered is close to the Peace and Reconciliation Centre at Glencree, and while it is isolated, it is also popular with hillwalkers, cyclists and others using mountain forests.

The location of the finds at Glenmacnass is a beauty spot and easily accessible from Military Road and a car park.

It is understood no clothes were found with the body parts and they had not been concealed with any material.

Gardaí are keen to talk to anyone who used Military Road, including workers for Coillte, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, or ESB Networks, and might have seen suspicious activity in recent weeks.

Detectives also appealed for members of the public who were in the general area of Military Road and the village of Laragh in the recent past and who may have seen anything suspicious or unusual to contact officers in Bray or on the Garda confidential line 1800 666111 or call any other station.


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