Teenager charged with murder of girl (12) in Dublin
A teenager was charged with the murder of a schoolgirl found dumped in thick undergrowth just minutes from her home, Gardai said today.
The partially-clothed body of 12-year-old Michaela Davis was discovered near the Royal Canal in west Dublin on Saturday afternoon, it is believed she was strangled.
Gardai charged an 18-year-old man with the girl's murder overnight. He will appear before the Criminal Court of Justice in Dublin later today.
A team of 80 officers is trying to piece together the final moments of the 12-year-old.
Although detectives were still waiting for the results of a post-mortem examination on the girl, it is suspected she was beaten and strangled.
Her bike was recovered by investigating officers who sealed off a large area spanning from Michaela's family home to the crime scene.
An elderly man spotted Michaela's remains in undergrowth on a steep bank between a commuter rail line and a path that runs along the canal.
A school friend who visited the scene said he was shocked when he heard Michaela was dead.
"She was sound. So funny," he said.
The victim had started secondary school at Luttrellstown Community College just two days before her tragic death.
The schoolgirl left her home in the Village development off the Porterstown Road in the Blanchardstown area just after midnight on Saturday morning, telling family members she would be back soon.
She was reported missing just over two hours later and her body found shortly before 4pm on Saturday.
Yesterday, Gardai carried out door-to-door inquiries while members of the water unit searched the canal for evidence which may have been dumped and 25 forensic officers examined the embankment.
"It's a wide area, it's a difficult area to search," said Supt John Gilligan.
"The area where the young girl was found was a heavily brambled or wooded area running alongside the canal and railway tracks so that takes a bit of time to search properly. We have to go into that delicately in order to make sure we find everything that we can possible find."