Human blood detecting dogs drafted in as nets closes on killer

SPECIALLY trained police dogs drafted in from Britain to help track Meg Walsh’s killer have been used in several, high-profile international cases, including the Soham murders of school pals, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

As the net closed in on the 35-year-old’s murderer yesterday, the world’s only human blood detecting dog from South Yorkshire was back at work at the dead woman’s home on the edge of Waterford city.

Homicide search expert and National Centre for Police and Excellence officer, Mark Harrison, said spaniel Keela can detect human blood traces not even visible to the naked eye.

Two other police dogs drafted in from Wales specialise in following specific, individual scents. These have been used at several key locations in the murder probe, Mr Harrison said.

“These dogs assist us in investigative intelligence. They try to piece together the jigsaw of the sequence of events which may have happened in this case.

“So far we have detected quite a few things of interest, and we will continue to do this. The picture so far is quite incomplete.

“We are working with the gardaí in developing that. We are continuing today, hopefully completing, so we can have more of an understanding of the sequence of events.”

Mr Harrison said the dogs have had extreme success in the past: “The human blood dog does not false indicate. Every time she indicates, it has been corroborated by laboratory analysis and confirmed as blood.”

He said it would be “inappropriate” to elaborate on what has been found at Meg Walsh’s home or other sites. “This is an ongoing investigation and the gardaí are doing an excellent job. It would be inappropriate at this time to comment further.”

The dogs search was extended to further sites yesterday, but so far their key focus has been on Meg Walsh’s home at Ballinakill Downs.

He refused to speculate how accurate the dogs would be in an area which had been cleaned or where attempts had been made to cover up a crime.

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