Acid and red ink ribbon could help identify remains

Acetic acid and a red franking ink ribbon may hold the key to identifying partial human remains discovered in a Dublin recycling plant at the end of July.

Acid and red ink ribbon could help identify remains

The remnants of a spool of the ink ribbon were found among other material adjacent to the remains discovered on July 31 at Thornton’s recycling plant, Killeen Road, Ballyfermot.

The ink ribbon is that used in a SM 26 franking machine. The postmortem examination has determined that the human remains are contaminated with acetic acid.

This chemical, gardaí say, is widely used domestically in vinegar and food preservatives, and industrially in textile printing, dyes, photographic chemicals, pesticides, rubber and plastics. Acetic acid is a toxic chemical with a pungent smell.

For this reason, gardaí have appealed to members of the public who noticed “an unusually strong vinegary smell” adjacent to their place of residence or work environment, during the month of July, to contact them at Ballyfermot Garda station.

Gardaí have established that the remains are those of a European male (nationality and ethnicity unknown), aged 25 to 45, between5’ 8” and 6’ in height, and who had surgery to reduce brain swelling following severe traumatic brain injury.

Gardaí are also appealing for anyone who disposed of, or who has knowledge of anyone disposing of franking ink ribbon in the last week of July to get in contact.

The remains were discovered at the Thornton’s plant during waste separating.

Anyone who can assist with Garda enquiries should contact Ballyfermot Garda Station at 01-6667200 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

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