Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Family's plea over woman's death

The body of Elaine O'Hara was discovered in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains last Friday.

The family of Elaine O'Hara have said they are distraught at the death of their popular and much-loved daughter and sister.

More than 120 statements have been taken and 1,600 hours of CCTV sized by officers probing the killing of the 37-year-old Dubliner.

Detectives are continuing to trawl through an online dating website in a hunt for a suspected sex murderer, while forensic teams search a forest in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains where her body was found last Friday.

In a brief statement Ms O'Hara's family appealed for anyone with information to contact gardai.

"The O'Hara family are distraught at the death of their popular and much-loved daughter and sister Elaine," they said.

"If anyone has any information please contact the Garda incident room in Blackrock."

Superintendent Dave Taylor said a major investigation was under way into the death of Ms O'Hara, who he described as a trusted and respected person who worked as a childcare assistant and newsagent.

He said gardai have received "a tremendous response" from the public but added other important information that could assist will be taken in the strictest confidence.

"We have already taken in excess of 120 statements; we have seized in excess of 1,600 hours of CCTV and conducted numerous questionnaires," he said.

"We are conducting a major investigation and we'd like to appeal to any of the public out there to come forward."

Ms O'Hara disappeared on Wednesday August 22 last year leaving Belarmine Plaza, Stepaside, where she lived, at approximately 5.05pm. She was wearing navy tracksuit bottoms, white runners and a bright-blue zip-up top.

A second sighting of her was reported at a footbridge over a railway line at Shanganagh Park, Shankill, Co Dublin one hour and ten minutes later.

Ms O'Hara, who has been described as vulnerable, had been treated in hospital for depression for a period. It is understood she found it difficult to cope with her mother's death.

It is understood she had been using websites in the months leading up to her disappearance, and forensic experts poring over internet records will contact anyone she came into contact with on the service.

One site, which has not been named but is being looked at, is popular with people seeking to explore their sexual fantasies.

Users were warned to expect a knock on their door as Garda officers try to catch Ms O'Hara's killer. Her phone records are also being examined.

Ms O'Hara's skeletal remains were uncovered by a dog in the Killakee area near Rathfarnham.

Handcuffs and restraints were also recovered some 20km away at the Vartry reservoir near Roundwood, Co Wicklow, after a key fob for Ms O'Hara's work was found at the same spot.

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