Gardaí are investigating a reported sighting of a missing woman with Down syndrome in Penneys on St Patrick’s Street, in Cork.
Gardaí renewed their appeal for the public’s help in locating Karen Scott, 44, who went missing from her home in Finglas, Dublin, last Friday.
“Our greatest concern is the fact that Karen has Down syndrome and obviously, she has special needs. She left her home last Friday at 3.30pm (in Finglas) and the last confirmed sighting of her is on Friday evening on Berkley Road in Phibsboro,” Inspector John Burke said yesterday.
There was a reported sighting of Ms Scott in Penneys on St Patrick’s Street in Cork but it has not been confirmed.
“We are working on that [the Cork sighting] at the moment. We got calls right from throughout the country about people fitting her description,” said Insp Burke.
“She’s described as approximately 5ft4in tall, medium build, blue eyes, and short blonde hair. When she was last seen she was wearing white runners, a peach-coloured hoodie and black jeans.”
In the last confirmed sighting of her in Phibsboro, which was captured on CCTV, Karen was seen wheeling a small red suitcase behind her. Gardaí believe she was carrying a change of clothes.
“The clothing she had with her included a couple of brightly-coloured tops, yellows, greens and blues. She also had a mini skirt and shorts in the case,” said Insp Burke.
Aside from the suitcase, there is no evidence to suggest that she was intending to travel.
“We are aware that she could have had some money with her, that’s all. As far as we know she did not have a passport with her. She did not have a mobile phone with her, she was not overly familiar with technology,” said the inspector.
When asked if she might have gone to meet someone she may have met online, the inspector said such a scenario was unlikely.
“As regards technology she has no ability in that area,” he said.
However, Karen was reasonably independent and would leave home alone, but never travelling further than Dublin city centre.
“She has left home [before], she’s fairly independent. She’s a very personable individual and she’s well-known around the Finglas area, but it would only be for a few hours. There’s been nothing like this before. She’s very friendly and open,” said Insp Burke.
There was another report of Karen asking people for money; however, this has not been confirmed.
“It has been said that that is a feature of her personality that when she is out and stuck, she would ask for money. It has happened in the past that she would ask people for money,” he said.
Gardaí have had a “reasonably good response” to their appeal last weekend and are following a few lines of enquiry as a result.
Insp Burke said that Karen was well known in the area of Finglas and that the local community has rallied around to search for her.
A group of approximately 50 people has come together to look for her, as well as the Civil Defence.
“Obviously, her family is very, very concerned about her, as is the community in Finglas,” said Inspector Burke.
Anyone who has seen Karen or who can assist in locating her is asked to contact Finglas Garda Station on 01 6667500 or any Garda station.
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