A man has been arrested over the discovery of body parts found scattered across the Wicklow Mountains.

The remains, including a head and hands found in a plastic bag a few kilometres from the Glenmacnass waterfall, are of a woman and not a man, as initially thought, officers confirmed.

Limbs and parts of the torso were found in three other locations along a 20km-30km stretch of the Old Military Rd to Glencree.

Gardaí said murder squad detectives were investigating whether the body parts were thrown from a moving vehicle as it travelled along the route some time in the last week to 10 days.

The victim is believed to have been murdered at any time between June 2 and June 10, when the first piece of torso was found by hill-walkers near Glencree Peace and Reconciliation Centre.

Two other pieces of remains were found at the waterfall and another piece at Lough Brea Lower on Military Rd, south of Glencree.

Superintendent Pat Ward said he was particularly conscious that the victim was someone’s loved one.

“While earlier indications were the body was that of a male, the significant investigations and the complex investigations that we’ve undertaken up to this point now indicate that the body is that of an adult female,” he said.

The remains have not been identified. Gardaí suspect they know who she is but are not 100% sure and were last night trying to establish confirmation.

It is understood no clothes were found with the body parts.

Gardaí said a man aged in his 30s was detained in relation to the investigation yesterday evening. It is understood he is from the Rathfarnham area of south Dublin and is thought to be a relative of the victim.

Gardaí said the latest discovery was made about 3km north of Glenmacnass waterfall, where two other pieces of remains were found.

The first part of the torso to be found was spotted in undergrowth in a ditch off Military Rd on Saturday.

The following day, more remains were found at Glenmacnass.

Members of the Garda water unit searches the River Vartry in the Wicklow Mountains.
Members of the Garda water unit searches the River Vartry in the Wicklow Mountains.

More than 100 gardaí and members of the defence forces were involved in the latest searches along with the Garda water unit and dog teams from the civil defence.

The scenic area around Glencree, where the first section of torso was found, is isolated but is popular with hillwalkers, cyclists, and others using mountain forests.

Glenmacnass is a beauty spot and easily accessible from Military Rd and a car park.

Gardaí are keen to talk to anyone who used Military Rd, including workers for Coillte, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, or ESB Networks, and might have seen suspicious activity in recent weeks.

Detectives also appealed for members of the public who were in the general area of Military Rd and the village of Laragh in the recent past and who may have seen anything suspicious or unusual to contact officers in Bray or on the Garda confidential line 1800 666111, or call any other station.


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