Gardaí are investigating whether the 61-year-old grandmother whose remains were found at several locations in the Wicklow mountains was hit over the head with a blunt instrument in her Dublin home and an attempt was made to bury her before she was dismembered.
Patricia O’Connor was from the Rathfarnham area of South Dublin and had worked as a chef in the now closed private maternity hospital, Mount Carmel.
She had been reported missing from her home on June 2.
Gardaí believe that she died as a result of a blow to her head with a blunt object during a row with a male relative before her body was dismembered and discarded around the Co Wicklow area.
A 32-year-old man presented himself to Wexford Garda Station on Tuesday, where he was later arrested. He was being detained in Bray Garda Station last night.
It is understood that Ms O’Connor died in her Rathfarnham home and was then transferred to a car where an attempt was made to bury her in a shallow grave in Co Wexford.
There are now at least eight crime scenes being investigated by gardaí, in locations in Dublin, Wexford and Wicklow.
One theory being investigated is that Ms O’Connor was buried with her body relatively intact, however, the killer panicked and dug up her remains in order to dismember them and later discard them.
Wexford Chief Supt John Roche said a scene has been preserved in a rural area in the county.
“It’s a rural area between Kilmuckridge and Blackwater,” he said.
“Right now, we’re waiting on a team from the technical bureau to begin searching the surrounding area.
“The scene we have is quite contained, so we will be searching it ourselves.”
Local independent councillor, Mary Farrell said it was the “most horrific crime” that the area had ever witnessed.
Over 200 gardaí and Defence Forces employees are involved in the large-scale search investigation, including members of the Garda Water Unit and Dog Unit.
Following the discovery of the torso by hikers last Saturday evening, the biggest breakthrough was locating a human head on Tuesday afternoon, approximately 3km north of Glenmacnass waterfall, which is on the Military Road in Co Wicklow.
Further remains, including an arm, were located later in the afternoon.
A partial torso, a leg, a backbone and internal organs were then recovered as part of the investigation.
Describing the “gruesome” discoveries, Bray Superintendent Pat Ward said he was conscious the remains were those of a “loved one.”
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