Gardaí identify woman at centre of appeal

 The woman in a photo issued by gardaí. Picture: PA

Gardaí say they are following a “definite line inquiry” regarding a teenager found in a “distressed” state on Dublin’s O’Connell St last month.

The blonde haired woman, who spoke little English since being found in Dublin last month, is believed to be from Australia and in her early 20s. She was initially believed to be European and aged 14 or 15.

One line of inquiry being examined is that she was in Ireland to visit relatives and her last known whereabouts was when she left them saying she would travel around the country.

It is understood a relative called to a Garda station in Dublin city yesterday after seeing a photograph issued in the appeal.

A passport is believed to have confirmed her identity.

Senior officers took the unprecedented step yesterday of publishing a photograph of the woman, then thought to be a child, in a desperate bid to identify her.

The photograph of her was released worldwide from mid-morning and within 10 hours detectives revealed they had identified her and were liaising with police in Australia.

Earlier, Supt David Taylor said 2,000 hours have been spent on the investigation and more than 115 lines of enquiry carried out.

They had consulted with the Missing Person Bureau, Interpol, the Forensic Science Laboratory, the Garda Sexual Assault Unit, and the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

Gardaí had also checked with dentists in Ireland as the woman has a fitted brace. In addition, they also checked city B&Bs, left luggage services as well as ports, airports, and train stations.

Garda bosses received the permission of the High Court to release her photograph after extensive inquiries here and abroad failed to identify her.

The woman is understood to be traumatised by her past and is believed to have spoken little to gardaí and social workers.

She has communicated through drawings, some of which had been interpreted as suggesting she might have been trafficked.

It is not yet known if she was abandoned near O’Connell St or if she escaped from a premises.

Gardaí declined to comment on these issues, stressing the aim was to establish her identity.

She had been placed under a HSE care order following her discovery and she remains in HSE care.


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