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Murder of man whose torso was found in canal thought to be 'recent event'

Published 17/01/2016

The Garda sub aqua unit searching the Grand Canal
The Garda sub aqua unit searching the Grand Canal

A murder investigation has been launched after the torso of a man was found packed into a suitcase dumped in a canal.

Detectives believe the victim met a violent death in recent days but have yet to formally identify the remains.

They were discovered in a dark-coloured suitcase in the Grand Canal near Celbridge, Co Kildare on Saturday afternoon at around 3:30pm.

Walkers on the popular canalside towpath who came across the case, at a stretch of the waterway 500 metres from Ardclough, beside the Lyons Estate, raised the alarm.

Superintendent Gerry Wall, of Leixlip Garda station, said: "When we attended at the scene we found that the suitcase contained a torso.

"From there we commenced a full murder investigation."

Mr Wall said the remains were that of a man and it is believed he was murdered not more than a few days ago.

"From the early evidence and investigation we're satisfied that this is a recent event," he said.

"I'm clarifying that - that it's a recent event as far as we're concerned in this investigation.

"The nature of what we've discovered would suggest a violent death and that's all I can say at the present time."

Deputy State Pathologist Michael Curtis carried out a preliminary examination of the torso at the scene ahead of a full post mortem examination at Naas General Hospital.

The Garda sub aqua team and other Garda search teams are scouring the canal and its banks for clues or any other evidence.

The scene has also been sealed off for a technical examination by Garda forensic experts.

Mr Wall appealed for anyone walking or cycling by that section of the canal since Thursday to get in touch.

"The importance of witness evidence and people coming forward to us, able to assist us in forming the big picture of what may have occurred in this, I can't overemphasise the importance of that witness evidence," he said.

"If you walked this canal in the last few days, it's very important that you come forward to us.

"It is very early, and any avenue of investigation is open."

Gardai are reviewing missing persons files as part of their investigation.

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