Detectives were last night seeking to speak to a number of people who are thought to have been with a teenage girl who was subsequently subjected to a violent death.
The remains of 14-year-old Anastasia (Anna) Kriegel were discovered at disused farmhouses in Lucan, west Dublin, almost three days after her family reported her missing.
It is understood that the schoolgirl had been found naked and appeared to have suffered a serious physical assault including injuries to her head.
Gardaí in Lucan Garda Station have launched a major investigation and believe she may not have been alone at the time she was last seen. Anna, from nearby Leixlip, Co Kildare, was spotted on Clonee Road, at the border of St Catherine’s Park, at around 5pm on Monday.
“We believe at the time she may not have been alone at that stage and that is part of the investigation,” said Supt John Gordon.
Detectives were trying to identify and locate those individuals in a bid to piece together the final movements of Anna and who else she might have been with or in contact with.
The disused farmhouses where she was found are more than 1km from where she was last seen. Supt Gordon said there were a number of routes to the area and were investigating this matter.
Formerly living in Lucan, Anna was adopted from Russia at the age of two by her parents. She was in first year at Confey Community College in Leixlip. The school had joined in the appeals for sightings of the student.
Her remains were discovered at around 1.30pm by the Dublin West divisional search team.
Supt Gordon said Anna’s family reported her missing at around 8pm on Monday.
He said the searches began at around 1.30pm on Tuesday, led by the divisional search team, and included the Garda sub-aqua unit given the proximity of both the Royal Canal and the Liffey. The civil defence also assisted.
The farmland backs onto the St Catherine’s Park, a sprawling area of 200 acres that straddles the border of Dublin and Kildare.
Supt Gordon said the family was traumatised.
“They are receiving a lot of support from An Garda Síochána. They are extremely distressed and they are looking for the public’s assistance and privacy as well, they have another child in the house, so they need to be very careful around that.”
In relation to Anna, he said:
The area was sealed off after the discovery and the Garda Technical Bureau arrived in mid-afternoon. The divisional search team continued their searches in the area.
State pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy arrived at the scene at around 6pm and conducted a preliminary autopsy there, before a full examination last night.
That will determine whether or not the investigation is officially upgraded to that of murder.
Gardaí first issued an appeal for information in relation to Anna at lunchtime on Tuesday. Anna was described as 5ft8in, with black shoulder length hair, sallow skin and slim build.
She was last seen wearing a black hoodie with white writing, black bottoms and black runners.
Only yesterday morning, gardaí reissued their appeal, but this time added that they and the girl’s family were “very concerned” for her wellbeing.
Supt Gordon said they were appealing to anyone who was in St Catherine’s Park from 5pm onwards or on the Clonee Road on Monday 14 May to contact the Garda incident room at Lucan Station at 01 6667300, the Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station to pass on any information they have.
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