Man arrested after remains found in Wicklow Mountains
A man has been arrested over the discovery body parts found dispersed across the Wicklow Mountains, gardai said.
The remains, including a head and hands found in a plastic bag a few kilometres from the Glenmacnass waterfall, are of a woman and not a man as initially thought, officers confirmed.
Limbs and parts of the torso were found in three other locations along a 20km-30km stretch of the Old Military Road to Glencree.
Gardai said murder squad detectives were investigating whether the body parts were thrown from a moving vehicle, a car or a van, as it travelled along the route some time in the last week to 10 days.
The victim is believed to have been murdered any time between June 2 and Saturday June 10, when the first piece of torso was found by hill-walkers near Glencree Peace and Reconciliation Centre.
Two other pieces of remains were found at the waterfall and another piece at Lough Brea Lower on Military Road, south of Glencree.
Superintendent Pat Ward said he was particularly conscious that the victim was someone's loved one.
"While earlier indications were the body was that of a male the significant investigations and the complex investigations that we've undertaken up to this point now indicate that the body is that of an adult female," he said.
Gardai said a man in his 30s was detained in relation to the investigation on Tuesday evening.
The remains are believed to be from one woman, who has not been identified.
Gardai said the latest discovery was made about 3km north of Glenmacnass waterfall, where two other pieces of remains were found.
The first part of the torso to be found was spotted in undergrowth in a ditch off Military Road on Saturday evening.
The following day more remains were found at Glenmacnass.
Supt Ward appealed for anyone who was driving or cycling on Military Road in the last fortnight and who had a dash-cam or GoPro camera fitted to come forward.
He also urged anyone who may have driven the route or who works along the route to contact gardai so their vehicles can be eliminated from CCTV footage.
"It's very indiscriminate," he said.
"It's something that we are not used to. Even in this area a number of bodies have been recovered in the Wicklow Mountains in the recent past and before, but never a case like this where human remains have been dispersed in such indiscriminate fashion.
"It's very troubling and worrying."
Detectives are trawling missing persons reports and have yet to rule out a gangland motive.
More than 100 gardai and Defence Forces soldiers were involved in the latest searches along with the Garda water unit and dog teams from the Civil Defence.
The scenic area around Glencree, where the first section of torso was discovered, is isolated but is popular with hill-walkers, cyclists and others using mountain forests.
The location of the finds at Glenmacnass is a beauty spot and easily accessible from Military Road and a car park.
It is understood no clothes were found with the body parts.
Gardai are keen to talk to anyone who used Military Road, including workers for Coillte, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, or ESB Networks, and might have seen suspicious activity in recent weeks.
Detectives also appealed for members of the public who were in the general area of Military Road and the village of Laragh in the recent past and who may have seen anything suspicious or unusual to contact officers in Bray or on the Garda confidential line 1800 666111, or call any other station.
Gardai said the arrested man was detained in the Wexford area.