Belfast Telegraph

Prime suspect in student death found hanged in UK

By Colm Kelpie and Louise Hogan

The boyfriend and prime suspect in the murder of student Rudo Mawere in Dublin was found dead in a wooded area in the UK yesterday after an apparent suicide.

Zimbabwean Jason Dube, suspected of strangling and stuffing the 26-year-old's body into a travel bag, was discovered by a dog-walker in Higham, north Kent, at about 9am.

It is understood he was found hanged.

Murder-squad detectives were looking to speak with him over the death of Ms Mawere, whose body was found dumped on a quiet residential street in north inner city Dublin on Sunday.

It is suspected she was strangled in a nearby apartment on Saturday.

It is understood the man had been romantically involved with Ms Mawere for about three months, and the pair had an argument on Saturday because he was using her bank card.

She told friends she was going to speak to him about the money that day, and that was the last time they heard from her.

Gardai said they had been contacted by police in England yesterday morning with information that provided a "significant development" in the murder investigation.

Kent police said they were liaising with gardai to formally determine the dead man's identity.

"He is yet to be formally identified and all next of kin are still to be informed," a spokeswoman said.

"Kent Police is currently liaising with the Garda in the Republic of Ireland in relation to whether the man is the same person the Garda was seeking in relation to an alleged offence last weekend."

A brother of Mr Dube, living in the UK, could not be reached despite attempts to contact him last night.

It is believed that Mr Dube fled the State after Ms Mawere's death and travelled to the North before going to Britain, where it is believed he has relatives.

He had been living in Coventry in the West Midlands and had been in the UK for about 14 years, before moving to Ireland around a year ago.

It is understood police in the UK had a number of aliases for him, including Jasper Taruvinga.

He was known to be religious, and attended the Pentecostal Solid Rock Church of God in central Dublin for several months.

Friends of Ms Mawere said she had recently attended the church with him.

The pastor of the church, who did not wish to be named, expressed shock at the sudden death.

"Something very tragic has happened about a young and innocent girl and we are doing the best we can to help the gardai to find out what happened," he said.

"I think the girl was innocent and died in such an unfortunate way. We are helping to try bring whoever was involved in this evil to justice."

The church, which has a congregation of more than 200, has members from over 13 different nationalities.

Mr Dube was known to live with friends and for the past few months had been staying in an upstairs apartment at a house in Aughrim Street in north inner city Dublin.

It was searched by detectives on Monday as part of their enquiries into the murder.

They suspected Ms Mawere was strangled there and was stuffed into the large luggage bag, before being dumped on St David's Terrace, just yards from the McKee Army Barracks.

He was sometimes seen driving friends' cars to pick up Ms Mawere, as she lived in a shared apartment on Leinster Road in Rathmines, south Dublin.

A neighbour at the house in Aughrim Street, who had been away at the time, said he could not believe what had happened when he returned.

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