Belfast Telegraph

Body found in search for missing Wicklow woman

Jastine Valdez has been missing from Enniskerry since Saturday night.

Gardai on Puck's Castle Lane in Rathmichael, Co Dublin (Donall Farmer/PA)
Gardai on Puck's Castle Lane in Rathmichael, Co Dublin (Donall Farmer/PA)

A body has been found by gardai searching for missing Jastine Valdez.

The 24-year-old was last seen being bundled into a Nissan Qashqai SUV near her home in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, on Saturday evening.

A Garda spokesman said the body of a female was found in the Puck’s Castle area on Monday.

A suspect, named locally as 40-year-old Mark Hennessy, from Bray in Co Wicklow, was shot dead by an officer in a confrontation on Sunday evening after gardai traced the vehicle to the Cherrywood business district south of Dublin.

The spokesman said: “The body has not been formally identified.

“Gardai wish to appeal for privacy for the Valdez family at this time.”

Puck’s Castle Road in Rathmichael, Co Dublin, was cordoned off by gardai on Monday as a large-scale search, involving the Army, took place in the area.

A large convoy of Garda vehicles, including an ambulance with blacked-out windows, left the scene of the discovery shortly after 8pm.

The R760 in Enniskerry, where Ms Valdez was last seen, also remained closed on Monday.

Garda on the R760 in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow (Eleanor Barlow/PA)

Residents in the village spoke of their shock at her disappearance.

Bernard Cawley, 57, from Executive Dry Cleaners, said she had been a regular customer.

“She’s very, very friendly, always smiling and laughing,” he said.

“She’s a lovely girl and always brings a smile to your face.

“Everyone is absolutely in shock and devastated by what’s happened.”

“The main thing for everyone in the village now is to hope she is found safe and well.”

Gardai conduct searches in the Puck’s Castle area near Dublin (Donall Farmer/PA)

Sandra Archer, who runs a clothes shop in the village, said: “This area is so quiet normally, people leave their doors unlocked because there is no crime.

“I’m just shocked.”

Ireland’s police watchdog, the Garda Siochana Ombudsman’s Commission, is investigating the shooting.

Ms Valdez, an accountancy student originally from the Philippines, was walking home along the Kilcrony road in Enniskerry at around 6.15pm on Saturday when she was abducted.

Press Association

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