Dental records may identify missing Irish woman

Jewellery and dental records could identify the body of a woman found just miles from where a Dublin mother went missing in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it emerged today.

Jewellery and dental records could identify the body of a woman found just miles from where a Dublin mother went missing in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it emerged today.

Winnie Brady vanished in September while on a pilgrimage with friends in Medjugorje.

The 59-year-old was last seen leaving her hotel to go for a walk.

Her husband Stephen, who is due to fly to Bosnia later today to identify the body, said the discovery could finally bring him some closure.

Mr Brady said he heard yesterday that a body had been found but officials were not sure if it was the missing woman until a postmortem was carried out last night.

"This morning the Department of Foreign Affairs was on to me and they are nearly 99% sure it is Winnie," he said.

"The only identification they had is what she was wearing and her rings.

"When they mentioned the rings they were the rings she had on her.

"I just got the dental report and that is being faxed over."

Mrs Brady, a mother-of-five from Raheny, was holidaying with friends when she disappeared without trace just days before she was due to come home.

Her devastated husband said he was sure she would be found alive.

"I really thought she would be alive," he continued.

"I thought maybe she just lost her memory, or maybe fell and hit her head, that's what I was hoping for. I was hoping she'd come home.

"There are no words to explain the feelings that you have," he said.

"There are people in similar circumstances and I feel for them, my heart goes out to them.

"At least I have a closure now and maybe rest easy knowing I can bring her home."

Mrs Brady, who suffered from arthritis, had remained in her hotel while friends visited a nearby hilltop.

When the group returned they found her suitcase neatly packed for the impending journey home and her belongings, including cash, passport and medicine, untouched.

Concerned family members flew to the town and, with Irish peacekeepers in Bosnia, joined a massive search.

"She went over on a pilgrimage and after five days over there she just disappeared and hasn't been seen since," continued Mr Brady.

"She was grand before she left and was really looking forward to it.

"There was nothing wrong with her except for the arthritis in her knee, that was really her only complaint.

"We went over just the once around September 6th and stayed there a few weeks but there was nothing you could do.

"We searched along with the search teams but nothing came out of it."

Officials from the Irish embassy in Lublyana, Slovenia, are also travelling to Bosnia today.

"A body has been found in the area but it has not yet been identified," said a spokesman from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

"Officials from the Irish Embassy in Slovenia are travelling to Bosnia and an autopsy will be carried out."

Mr Brady said he had no idea what had happened to his wife and would wait for the full details to be released before speculating.

He also paid tribute to staff at the Department of Foreign Affairs.

"They couldn't have been better," he told RTÉ. "I can't praise them enough. They have been very very good to me. All during the time she was missing they were in touch with me, keeping me up to date with searches and things like that.

"I really do thank them."

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