Gardaí seek skull in O’Hara grid search

A 50m grid search will continue over the coming days to locate the rest of Elaine O’Hara’s remains — with gardaí eager to find a neck bone and her skull.

Gardaí seek skull in O’Hara grid search

Experts will be able to confirm whether or not Ms O’Hara was strangled if they can retrieve her hyoid bone. This neck bone breaks if a person is strangled from the front. They also want to locate her skull, to check for any signs of violence.

Gardaí are trying to determine how the 36-year-old childcare assistant died and how she travelled between three different sites in Dublin and Wicklow.

She was last seen on Aug 22, 2012, after she parked her car at Shanganagh Park, Shankill, south Dublin.

Her partial remains were found in a forest in the Dublin mountains last Friday. Then it emerged that personal belongings linked to Ms O’Hara, including a Dunnes Stores loyalty card, were found in a reservoir in Roundwood, Wicklow, 20km away.

Detectives are investigating if handcuffs, ankle cuffs, and adult items also found at the Roundwood site are linked and are awaiting DNA tests.

Previous examinations of the woman’s laptop revealed use of an adult meeting site and detectives are trying to identify all people with whom she may have been in contact. They are checking her mobile phone, also found at Roundwood, for contacts.

They suspect she may have arranged to meet someone at Shanganagh before travelling to Roundwood.

Sources said she may have even gone to another location.

Gardaí do not yet know what happened at Roundwood, but are investigating theories that either something went too far, resulting in her unintended death, or that it was a premeditated killing.

Detectives believe the items were dumped into the reservoir and that her body was taken to the Killakee mountains. Officers said Ms O’Hara, weighing 16 stone, would not have been easy to move.

Searches at Roundwood have completed but have been extended at Killakee.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said their priority was “to find the remainder of the remains”.

Autopsy results have not found any signs of violence and no cause of death has been established.

Gardaí want anyone who saw, or interacted, with Ms O’Hara between Aug 22, when she left her home at Belarmine Plaza, Stepaside, and Aug 24 to ring Blackrock Station on 01 6665200 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

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