Kidnap suspect killed after a massive manhunt but victim is still missing

Gardaí were last night still searching for a woman after they fatally shot her abductor after a massive manhunt in south Dublin.

Armed local detectives confronted the man after he brandished a knife in the Cherrywood area and reportedly threatened people.

But there was no sign of kidnap victim Jastine Valdez, 24, and officers were desperately trying to piece together sightings of the vehicle used in the abduction of the Filipino student to aid their search.

She was bundled into the boot of a jeep as she was walking in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, where she lives with her parents, at around 6.15pm on Saturday.

Gardaí have urged people who saw the car, a black Nissan Qashqai, registration 171 D 20419, from 5pm on Saturday until 8pm last night to contact them.

Her abductor was named locally as Mark Hennessy, in his early 40s, from Woodbook Lawn, Bray, Co Wicklow.

He was married with two small children. He is understood to have taken his wife’s car at 5pm, only to say he was going out socialising.

Sources said he was a building sub-contractor and was “doing quite well” and that, from talking to family members, there were no signs of major issues with him.

After a day of searching for the car, local detectives were called to the Bride’s Glen Luas Stop and local business park at Cherrywood, where they found the Qashqai and spotted a man with a knife.

In a statement, the Garda Press Office said: “Gardaí investigating the disappearance of Jastine Valdez interacted with the driver of a vehicle at approximately 8pm in the Cherrywood area of Dublin. An official Garda firearm was discharged.

Jastine Valdez
Jastine Valdez

“Gardaí have located a 171 D Nissan Qashqui they had earlier appealed for at the scene of the shooting.

“Gardai continue to appeal for Jastine Valdez and also for anyone who may have seen the movements of the 171 D Nissan Qashqai since yesterday to 8pm, 20 May, 2018.”

It is thought Mr Hennessy was shot a number of times.

The terrifying events unfolded after Ms Valdez was bundled into the boot of a car in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, on Saturday.

An eyewitness rang gardaí, and gardaí received a second report about an hour later by another witness who saw a woman in a distressed state in the back of a vehicle.

A massive search operation was put in place and, at 11.20pm on Saturday, Ms Valdez’s parents reported that their daughter, a student who has been in Ireland for three years, was missing.

Gardaí quickly linked her disappearance and the reported abduction.

They initially received slightly different descriptions of the vehicle, but by around 5pm were able to confirm its full registration.

Gardaí believe she did not know her abductor.

On Sunday morning, they searched the reported site of the abduction and found Ms Valdez’s mobile phone.

Gardaí identified the registered owner of the black Nissan Qashqai and called to her home. They learned her husband had taken the car.

Earlier yesterday, Supt Paul Hogan, of Bray Garda Station, had urged people not to approach the car if they spotted it, but to ring 999 or 112.

He said they were “extremely concerned” for Ms Valdez’s safety.

Bray Garda Station 01-6665300; the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.


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