Gardaí searching for missing Cork schoolboy Robert Holohan are following up on 17 leads after yesterday’s reconstruction of the 11-year-old’s last known movements.
The boy disappeared on January 4 near his home outside Midleton. His BMX bike was found by a roadside.
Investigation head, Supt Liam Hayes said today: “We have approximately 17 reports in and we will have to sift through those this morning and take them to a conclusion.”
Yesterday a child resembling Robert cycled his bicycle from the family home at Ballyedmond in Midleton in a reconstruction of the missing boy’s movements eight days ago.
The senior officer insisted that the case was still being treated as a missing persons’ investigation but that all theories were being explored.
“I can assure you that this matter is being investigated the same way as any serious crime would be investigated,” he said. “We have nothing to suggest any criminality but from the very beginning we have been looking at all avenues.”
He said officers were probing reports that a known local paedophile had joined in the search for the schoolboy.
“He’s a known paedophile. That’s very broad. It would be different if he were a convicted paedophile,” he said.
He denied suggestions that gardaí were slow to act when Robert was first reported missing over a week ago.
He said: “That may have been the perception in the media, but that is not the case on the ground. Everything that could be done, was done.”
Gardaí want to talk to a man seen getting out of a red van at the nearby Curragh Wood car park at about 5.10pm on January 4.
They also are interested in speaking to a “well-dressed man” seen in nearby Egan’s Field at 1.15pm and again at 2.40pm.
They would also like to hear from a male jogger who was seen at the junction of Ballyedmond Hill and Lisgoold Road at about 4pm, to eliminate him from their inquiries.
A garda sub-aqua team has been searching rivers and a lake in the search area and volunteers have been searching Castlemartyr Woods.