Bloodstains in a house in Co Down have been matched to a criminal who went missing in Co Kildare last year, it has emerged.
The house on Drumdreenagh Road outside Rathfriland has been embroiled in a serious crime investigation involving police on both sides of the border into the disappearance of Dubliners David Lindsay (38) and his associate Alan Napper (39).
Senior garda officers now fear that Lindsay and Napper were savagely attacked and probably murdered in the house, which belongs to a man from Warrenpoint who rented it to a tenant from the Republic until October last year.
The owner, who is not under suspicion, moved back in after getting married and was caught unawares when officers arrived to search his house last week.
In a search last week police lifted a carpet which had been fitted by the tenant, discovering bloodstains underneath, and also found bloodstains on the walls.
The blood has been matched by garda to David Lindsay, in the first major breakthrough of the 10-month investigation.
Garda intelligence had indicated the two men went to Rathfriland to collect money owed to them by criminals north of the border, who were heavily involved in drug dealing.
The Northerners had arranged to meet the men in Rathfriland on the day they disappeared and had promised to hand over the cash there. But the two Dubliners became victims of a criminal double-cross and were killed.
A number of searches have been carried out in the county Down area by the PSNI at the request of the Gardai.
As a result of fresh intelligence, a further series of searches were carried out by the PSNI around Rathfriland on Wednesday week last
A neighbour in Drumdreenagh Road said she did not get to know the tenant — but said she noticed a large number of southern-registered cars coming and going from the property during his stay.
“We really are just baffled by what seems to be going on,” she said.
Materials including wigs and false moustaches are also thought to have been abandoned at the property by the former tenant. Searches were also carried out on neighbouring lands, but no remains have been found.
A spokeswoman for PSNI said: “We can confirm that a number of searches were carried out at the request of An Garda Siochana.”
At an early stage gardai received confidential information that the two men could have driven across the border, and sought the assistance of the PSNI with intelligence gathering and operational searches. Hopes that the two men would be found alive faded within a couple of weeks of the start of the investigation as gardai checked on the movements of a number of Dublin based criminals, who were known to have clashed with Lindsay in the past.
Lindsay had been friendly with a number of criminals from the Coolock area including John Clarke, who was shot dead at an apartment block in Artane early yesterday morning.
Lindsay had also been associating with Anthony Foster, who was shot in the head as he left his flat at the Cromcastle Court complex in Coolock, to collect his children from a creche, a week before the two men disappeared.
Descriptions of the men were sent to police north and south — but no trace was found until the bloodstains were discovered.