Man who ripped down posters of missing Dublin woman had house searched

Larry Stanley
Larry Stanley

A MAN who ripped down posters of a missing woman who had previously lived in his home said gardai checked under his floors for her body but insisted he doesn't know what happened to her.

Mother-of-two Elizabeth Clarke (25), from Portrane in Dublin, was last seen in November 2013 when she left her ex-boyfriend's house in the Claremont Estate in Navan, Co. Meath.

She had lived in the house with her two children, her ex-partner Kevin Stanley, along with his father Larry and his wife – but they say she moved out after splitting with Kevin.

She was only reported missing in January 2015 after her family, from whom she had been estranged, reported that they hadn't seen her in over a year.

Elizabeth's mother told the Sunday World that she believes her daughter is still alive, while other relatives said they are convinced she was murdered.

Missing: Elizabeth Clarke

Larry Stanley (49) was photographed tearing down a missing person picture of Elizabeth in the Claremont Estate last week.

He told the Sunday World that he regrets doing it, but said he and his family have been followed and harassed for more than a year while people spread rumours that he knows what happened to Elizabeth.

"We have nothing to hide. We're trying to get on with our daily lives. 22 gardai came into our house last January (2015). That's a shock-and-a-half. They checked under the floors for her body and everything.

"In this estate, if I wanted to murder you now I'd never get away with it. There's eyes on us all the time here. I cannot go out the back door without someone looking out a window at me. How would you do anything?

"They're blaming our family for doing something. We would never do anything to her. All we ever tried to do was help her."

Larry said that Elizabeth, who had been living in the Claremont home for three years, left the house in November 2013 after breaking up with Kevin.

He said that while the couple had broken up at the time, she left on good terms with the family and Kevin retained custody of their two children.

Larry said the relationship didn't work out as Elizabeth struggled with emotional problems.

"She was the type of girl who didn't know what love was. My son loved her to bits. He showed her love and looked after the kids and that but she didn't seem to know what that was. It wasn't her fault."

Members of Elizabeth's extended family, from whom she had been estranged, reported her missing in January last year after saying they had not seen in her in some time.

Larry, who suffers from leukaemia, said his family have been victim of whispering campaigns and harassment since Elizabeth was reported missing.

He claims that he is regularly followed around, has had people in his back garden trying to listen into conversations in the house and threats have been made against his family from people who saw Facebook posts about them.

Fit of rage: Larry rips down posters of missing Elizabeth

Asked if he regretted taking down the poster, he said: "I do regret it but when you're putting up with this all the time you're going to get pissed off. I'm in pain 24/7; my wife is in pain 24/7 so eventually it's going to hit. I'd never have it in me to hurt anyone. I lost it and got thick after people were sitting in the estate for days.

"On Facebook people mentioned my name and address and everything.

"I got pissed off because this was going on so long. I have leukaemia, I have osteoarthritis and other problems. My wife isn't well either. All this hassle builds up and I got fed up."

Larry, who said he will put up his own missing posters for Elizabeth, said several people are involved in spreading rumours about him and his family.

"I'm sure you've heard rumours of all the stuff we were supposed to have done. We were supposed to have her tied up in the room. That never happened."

Elizabeth left without taking her bank card or passport but Larry said she did have cash and he believes she may be abroad.

"I'm hoping she's still alive. She could be in Europe or anywhere. It can be done. People can disappear if they want to."

Elizabeth's mother Noeleen Bieninda said that while she did not believe she had been killed, she wants answers as to what happened to her.

"It's a complete mystery. Nothing makes sense."

Noeleen said she hasn't seen Elizabeth in around six years as she fell out with the family.

"The last word she said to me was the only time I'll talk to you is when [two other relatives] were dead. I don't even know the grandchildren and I can't get to see them."

Despite their separation, Noeleen still wants to know what happened to Elizabeth and pleaded with anyone with information to come forward.

"There's no answers. Someone out there knows something but they're not coming forward."