NewsCrime Desk

Body in canal identified by gardai - victim is from Dublin

The scene at Ardclough after the grim discovery
The scene at Ardclough after the grim discovery

Gardai have identified the murder victim whose torso was found in a suitcase in the Grand Canal at Ardclough in north Kildare last Saturday afternoon.

The victim is a man in his 30s from west Dublin.

He is understood to have gone missing on Friday and his disappearance was reported to gardai the following evening.

The victim was identified this afternoon after a DNA sample taken from the torso matched with a sample given by a member of the man's family.

Gardai have not yet established where he was murdered and dismembered but intensive investigations are continuing in north Kildare and west Dublin.

The victim is not known to gardai - and is from what has been described as a very respectable and hard working family.

It's understood gardai are now in the process of identifying the victim's next-of-kin.

The breakthrough in the identification of the victim occurred earlier today.

The torso of a male was found wrapped in plastic in a suitcase near Ardclough Bridge, Co Kildare, shortly after 3.30pm on Saturday.

The victim's head, hands and feet had been cut off in an attempt to prevent gardaí from carrying out an identification process of the body.

Sources have revealed that one of the lines of inquiry gardaí were working on is that the victim was brutally slain in "a house party that got out of control".

However, it is understood this theory has been investigated and discounted.

The suitcase holding the torso of the murder victim was in the Grand Canal for at least six hours before it was recovered by passers-by.

Several walkers noticed the suitcase in the canal at Ardclough in north Kildare from 9am onwards on Saturday but thought it was discarded litter.

A post-mortem examination of the torso by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis, at Naas General Hospital on Sunday afternoon, showed no signs of injury to the torso.

Gardaí believe the fatal injuries may have been inflicted to the victim's head, either through a shooting or a brutal assault. Members of the Garda water unit resumed their search of the canal for other body parts yesterday, while the Garda dog unit was also drafted in to lead searches along the canal banks and adjoining land.

Gardaí think other body parts could have been dumped elsewhere in the Grand Canal or in nearby wasteland.

Members of the Garda investigation team from the Kildare division are working closely with colleagues in west Dublin.

Fingerprint checks are being carried out on the suitcase and the heavy plastic used to wrap the torso.

Gardaí have so far gathered more than 80 witness statements from members of the public, with investigating officers appealing for anyone with information to contact Leixlip Garda Station.