White nightgown may hold key to identifying East Cork skeleton

Tests on the remains have proved they are not those of missing Tina Satchwell
White nightgown may hold key to identifying East Cork skeleton

An Garda Síochána are appealing to the public for information on the identity of skeletal remains discovered at a construction site on the Midleton to Youghal Greenway on January 5.

Gardaí investigating the discovery of a female skeleton in East Cork hope the white nightgown found on the remains could help them identify her.

The image was released after gardaí confirmed the remains found at Roxborough near Midleton on January 5 last are those of a female who was 70 or older at the time of her death.

Tests on the remains have proved they are not the remains of Tina Satchwell. Ms Satchwell was 47 when she was last seen at home in Youghal in East Cork on March 20, 2017.

Superintendent Adrian Gamble said gardaí were now conducting a criminal investigation into the discovery and the investigation team has all the resources available to that of a murder investigation.

“It’s a criminal investigation at this stage. The first thing we have to do is identify the remains,” he said.

The deceased was between 5ft and 5ft2in in height, she was large-framed, she wore dentures and suffered from arthritis.

Early indications suggest she died within the last 10 years but that date could change pending further tests.

Superintendent Adrian Gamble said gardaí were now conducting a criminal investigation into the discovery. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Superintendent Adrian Gamble said gardaí were now conducting a criminal investigation into the discovery. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

DNA samples taken from the remains have been compared against the national DNA database but a positive match has not been obtained. 

Missing person’s records have also been examined but there are no potential matches yet.

“Somebody in the community must know how this woman’s remains came to be at this location," Supt Gamble said.

"We are determined to formally identify the deceased and treat her with the respect and dignity that she deserves.

We need to provide closure for a family that at this early stage remains unknown and ensure that the remains are brought to a final resting place.

“If you have any information on the matter, no matter how insignificant you think it is, I am asking that you please come forward and contact us.” 

The investigation was launched on January 5 after a skull was discovered by workmen doing clearance work along the old Midleton to Youghal rail line, close to the Shanty Bridge, for the proposed Midleton to Youghal greenway, at an area known locally as the "tipping point".

Gardaí sealed off the scene and embarked on a painstaking search over the next nine days.

The site was mapped and drone footage was used to create a 3D image of the area. The scene was also examined by a forensic anthropologist, and Garda Scenes of Crime examiners.

An incident room was established at Midleton Garda Station and a senior investigating officer has been appointed.

The results of a postmortem examination are not being released for operational reasons.

Members of the investigation team have conducted house-to-house enquiries in the area and a number of statements have been taken.

Any person with information can contact investigating gardaí at the incident room at Midleton Garda Station 021-462 1550, or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

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