Belfast Telegraph

Gardai appeal for witnesses as murder investigation launched after partially dismembered body found in Cork

(PA)
(PA)

By Ralph Riegel

Gardai fear a middle-aged man was savagely beaten before having his head and arm severed with his headless corpse then dumped in the garden of a derelict Cork house.

A full murder investigation was launched as Superintendent Michael Comyns issued a public appeal for information over the horrific killing.

Gardaí are now trying to determine if the victim - believed to be a homeless man in his 50s - was killed at the Boreenmanna Road scene where his headless body was found or if he was killed and dismembered elsewhere.

A major search operation overnight at the property resulted in the recovery of the missing body parts.

Supt Comyns urged people to assist Gardai with their inquiries - and said it was such a busy area that someone must have seen something vital to their ongoing investigation.

"We are appealing for any persons who may have passed on Boreenmanna Road over the last number of days, going back to Christmas Day, if they had seen any activity around this derelict house, to please contact us," he said.

Supt Comyns said Gardai wanted to speak to motorists, drivers with dash cams, pedestrians and locals who were in the quiet residential area since December 25.

"There has been a lot of speculation in relation to the identity of the person and the injuries suffered by the person," he said.

Supt Comyns said Gardai had not confirmed the identity of the person - and were awaiting the full results of the post mortem examination to determine the precise scale of injuries suffered by the deceased.

"We can say there were severe injuries but we do not know the full extent of them. I would ask that any speculation that has been going on since yesterday evening - it is not helpful to our investigation."

"That (identification) is a matter for the post mortem - finger-prints, DNA etc that will all be done there - hopefully we will be able to identify the person from there."

Supt Comyns also said that anyone with information has nothing to fear from coming forward.

"I can reassure people - we have a full investigation up-and-running. We have local patrols out in the area, we have a lot of uniformed Gardai here carrying out door-to-door inquiries and looking at CCTV footage."

Supt Comyns said they still have no idea precisely how long the body was in the garden.

"We are hoping that the post mortem will help us out with that. But it isn't there long term."

The body, which was missing both the head and one arm, is that of a middle-aged man who is believed to be Irish.

It was found in undergrowth in the garden of a derelict house just 2km from Cork city centre.

Supt Comyns urged people to assist Gardai with their inquiries - and said it was such a busy area that someone must have seen something vital to their ongoing investigation.

"We are appealing for any persons who may have passed on Boreenmanna Road over the last number of days, going back to Christmas Day, if they had seen any activity around this derelict house, to please contact us," he said.

Supt Comyns said Gardai wanted to speak to motorists, drivers with dash cams, pedestrians and locals who were in the quiet residential area since December 25.

"There has been a lot of speculation in relation to the identity of the person and the injuries suffered by the person," he said.

Supt Comyns said Gardai had not confirmed the identity of the person - and were awaiting the full results of the post mortem examination to determine the precise scale of injuries suffered by the deceased.

"We can say there were severe injuries but we do not know the full extent of them. I would ask that any speculation that has been going on since yesterday evening - it is not helpful to our investigation."

"That (identification) is a matter for the post mortem - finger-prints, DNA etc that will all be done there - hopefully we will be able to identify the person from there."

Gardai are now checking all local missing person reports.

Their inquiries are focused on a Cork homeless man, aged in his early 50s, who has not been seen around the city since after St Stephen's Day.

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