Update: Gardaí find note in suspect's car after body found in search for Jastine Valdez

Update 9.49pm: Gardaí have found a note in the car of Mark Hennessy, the man they had been looking for in connection with Jastine Valdez's disappearance.

Paul Reynolds, reporter with RTE news, said tonight that officers are examining the note which was found in Mr Hennessy's black Nissan Qashqai - registration number 171 D 20419.

Mr Hennessy was shot dead by an officer in a confrontation last night after gardaí traced the vehicle to the Cherrywood business district south of Dublin.

Update 8.14pm: This evening Gardaí in Bray investigating the disappearance of Jastine Valdez have made another appeal for help from the public.

They are appealing to anyone who was in the vicinity of Puck's Castle Lane, Murphy's Lane or using Carrickgollogan Forest Recreation Area, or anyone who was in the vicinity of the Lead Mines in Kiltiernan from Saturday 19 May at 6pm to Sunday 20 May at 8pm who may have seen anything suspicious, to come forward.

In particular they want to speak to anyone who saw a Black Nissan Qashqai - registration number 171 D 20419.

Also hillwalkers, cyclists or anyone who may have driven through these locations and may have dashcam footage during this time-frame are urged to contact Bray Garda Station on 01-6665300, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

The body has been removed from the scene for a post mortem examination tomorrow to establish the cause and time of death.

Update 3.35pm: Gardaí searching for missing woman Jastine Valdez have found a body.

The identity of the body, which Gardaí said was found in the Puck's Castle area, has yet to be established.

The body was found when a member of the search team cut away some branches within an area of thick gorse around 50 metres in from the road.

They also recovered clothing and personal items and the area is difficult to access which may delay the recovery operation.

Gardaí pictured at the scene at Puck's Castle, Rathmichael, Co. Dublin, today. Pic: Collins

The State Pathologist and the Garda Technical Bureau have been called in.

The search was focused around a disused golf course at Puck's Castle, which is not far from where Ms Valdez's purse was found this morning.

A Garda spokesperson said: "The body has not been formally identified.

"Gardai wish to appeal for privacy for the Valdez family at this time.

"Gardaí wish to thank the public, the media, the Defence Forces and Civil Defence for their assistance in this investigation."

Update 11.40am: Gardaí searching for missing student Jastine Valdez find her purse

Gardaí searching for missing student Jastine Valdez have found her purse in Rathmichael in South Dublin.

The 24-year-old’s ID was inside it.

Jastine has not been seen since she was bundled into a car on Saturday evening near Enniskerry.

A father of two suspected to be involved in the abduction was shot dead by gardaí in Cherrywood last night.

It is understood gardaí are now focusing their efforts on an area in Rathmichael after studying the software in the suspect’s car.

It is about a 10 to 15 minute drive from where Jastine was abducted.

Search teams are also searching an area known as the 'Scalp' and a walk on Killiney Hill has been cordoned off.

It is believed the abduction was completely random and she did not know the man involved.

Meanwhile, gardaí have issued a new appeal on Monday afternoon in relation to the search for Ms Valdez.

They are looking to speak to any one who may have observed suspicious activity in the area of Puckscastle Lane and Kiltiernan Lead Mines, Rathmichael between 6pm on Saturday May 19 and 8pm on Sunday May 20.

Anyone with information, however insignificant should contact Bray Garda Station on 01 6665300, Garda Confidential Line 1 800 666 111 or any garda station.

Dozens of gardai, members of the Defence Forces, civil defence and sniffer dogs are now undertaking a major operation in a wooded area in the Rathmichael. Picture: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

- Digital Desk

Update 10.10am: Gardaí focusing search for Jastine Valdez in south county Dublin after suspect shot dead

Gardaí are concentrating their search for Jastine Valdez on an area in south county Dublin this morning.

Officers are focusing on Rathmichael - the army and civil defence forces are assisting.

Earlier a renewed appeal was issued for information on the car linked to the abduction.

24-year-old Jastine Valdez was bundled into a car on Saturday outside Enniskerry in Wicklow.

A suspect was shot dead by an officer in a confrontation on Sunday evening after gardaí traced the vehicle to the Cherrywood business district south of Dublin.

Jastine Valdez

The man killed has been named locally as 40-year-old Mark Hennessy, from Bray, in Co Wicklow.

Detectives want to hear from anyone who saw a black Nissan Qashqai with the reg 171 D 20419 between 5pm on the Saturday and 8pm on Sunday

Archdeacon Ricky Rountree is the Church of Ireland Archdeacon of Glendalough whose church St Patrick's is next to the scene of the abduction.

He says locals are very disturbed.

"People are just very shocked at the moment," said the Archdeacon.

"Young women that I've spoken to yesterday are quite traumatised by it in terms of thinking of the times that very often they would be walking that road.

"Because it is a very safe area - a lot of cyclists, a lot of walkers."

- Digital Desk

Update 9.35am: Search for missing woman continues after suspect shot dead

Detectives are continuing to search for a woman feared abducted in Ireland after gardaí shot dead a suspect in her disappearance.

Jastine Valdez, 24, from Enniskerry in Co Wicklow, was last seen being bundled into a Nissan Qashqai SUV near her home on Saturday evening.

The suspect was shot dead by an officer in a confrontation on Sunday evening after gardai traced the vehicle to the Cherrywood business district south of Dublin.

The man killed has been named locally as 40 year-old Mark Hennessy, from Bray, in Co Wicklow.

Mark Hennessy

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman’s Commission is investigating the shooting.

No trace of Ms Valdez, an accountancy student originally from the Philippines, has been found.

Gardaí have said they are extremely concerned for her safety.

She was walking home along the Kilcrony road in Enniskerry at around 6.15pm on Saturday when she was attacked and abducted.

Gardaí renewed their appeal for information on Monday morning.

Ms Valdez is described is being around 5ft, of slight build with long black hair and brown eyes.

When last seen she was wearing a dark coloured jacket, white T-shirt, grey leggings and running shoes.

A Garda spokeswoman said: “Gardaí are particularly appealing for information on, or sightings and movement of, a black Nissan Qashqai registration 171 D 20419 between 5pm on the Saturday the 19th May and 8pm on Sunday May 20th.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact Bray Garda Station 01-6665300 the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any garda station.”

- Press Association

Earlier: Kidnap suspect killed after massive manhunt but victim is still missing

By Cormac O'Keeffe

Gardaí were last night still searching for a woman after they fatally shot her abductor after a massive manhunt in south Dublin.

Armed local detectives confronted the man after he brandished a knife in the Cherrywood area and reportedly threatened people.

But there was no sign of kidnap victim Jastine Valdez, 24, and officers were desperately trying to piece together sightings of the vehicle used in the abduction of the Filipino student to aid their search.

She was bundled into the boot of a jeep as she was walking in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, where she lives with her parents, at around 6.15pm on Saturday.

Gardaí have urged people who saw the car, a black Nissan Qashqai, registration 171 D 20419, from 5pm on Saturday until 8pm last night to contact them.

Her abductor was named locally as Mark Hennessy, in his early 40s, from Woodbook Lawn, Bray, Co Wicklow.

He was married with two small children. He is understood to have taken his wife’s car at 5pm, only to say he was going out socialising.

Sources said he was a building sub-contractor and was “doing quite well” and that, from talking to family members, there were no signs of major issues with him.

After a day of searching for the car, local detectives were called to the Bride’s Glen Luas Stop and local business park at Cherrywood, where they found the Qashqai and spotted a man with a knife.

In a statement, the Garda Press Office said: “Gardaí investigating the disappearance of Jastine Valdez interacted with the driver of a vehicle at approximately 8pm in the Cherrywood area of Dublin. An official Garda firearm was discharged.

“Gardaí have located a 171 D Nissan Qashqui they had earlier appealed for at the scene of the shooting.

“Gardai continue to appeal for Jastine Valdez and also for anyone who may have seen the movements of the 171 D Nissan Qashqai since yesterday to 8pm, 20 May, 2018.”

It is thought Mr Hennessy was shot a number of times.

The terrifying events unfolded after Ms Valdez was bundled into the boot of a car in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, on Saturday.

An eyewitness rang gardaí, and gardaí received a second report about an hour later by another witness who saw a woman in a distressed state in the back of a vehicle.

A massive search operation was put in place and, at 11.20pm on Saturday, Ms Valdez’s parents reported that their daughter, a student who has been in Ireland for three years, was missing.

Gardaí quickly linked her disappearance and the reported abduction.

They initially received slightly different descriptions of the vehicle, but by around 5pm were able to confirm its full registration.

Gardaí believe she did not know her abductor.

On Sunday morning, they searched the reported site of the abduction and found Ms Valdez’s mobile phone.

Gardaí identified the registered owner of the black Nissan Qashqai and called to her home. They learned her husband had taken the car.

Earlier yesterday, Supt Paul Hogan, of Bray Garda Station, had urged people not to approach the car if they spotted it, but to ring 999 or 112.

He said they were “extremely concerned” for Ms Valdez’s safety.

Bray Garda Station 01-6665300; the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

- Irish Examiner


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