Forensic tests are being carried out to identify a man — described only as white and fairly large-framed — whose torso was found in a suitcase at a rural spot on the Grand Canal.
Searches were continuing yesterday in the waters near the Co Kildare village of Ardclough to locate any other remains or evidence.
Gardaí are satisfied the man was murdered in recent days — and, contrary to some initial reports, do not believe it is Barry Corcoran, who has been missing since last July.
The remains were found by local walkers at 3.30pm on Saturday. Gardaí suspect the suitcase may have been dumped near where it was found, a short distance down from Ardclough Bridge. It is near the entrance of what is known locally as The Village, located in the late Tony Ryan’s Lyons estate.
Detectives suspect it could have been put there overnight on Friday, but stressed they were still trying to determine when exactly.
Supt Gerry Wall of Leixlip Garda Station said the suitcase was found some 500m from Ardclough Bridge, also known as Henry Bridge.
He said gardaí wanted to speak to anyone on what is a popular canal walkway between Ardclough Bridge and Kearneystown Bridge, some 5kms away.
“This is a walkway used by people everyday,” he said. If you walked this canal, cycled it, whatever, in the last number of days, we’re asking you to contact us.”
He specified the key period as being since last Thursday.
“From the early evidence in this investigation we’re satisfied that this is a recent event,” Supt Wall said.
Dr Michael Curtis, the deputy state pathologist, conducted a preliminary postmortem at the scene early yesterday. It is thought the condition of the torso lead investigators to believe the murder took place in recent days.
This, together with the torso’s largish frame, lead gardaí to the belief it was not Mr Corcoran. DNA and blood samples were taken during a full postmortem at Naas General Hospital and gardaí will see if that gives them any leads.
The Garda Technical Bureau will examine the suitcase and search for fingerprint, DNA or fibre evidence, which may reveal clues as to the victim or his possible attackers.
Supt Wall said the Garda Water Unit and Divisional Search Team, together with the Garda Technical Bureau, have examined the waters and canal bank. This search is likely to be expanded today. Anyone with information can contact gardaí on 01 6667800.
Cormac O’Keeffe, Ardclough, Kildare
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