Annie McCarrick case upgraded to murder likely due to ‘significant development’, ex-garda says

Annie McCarrick vanished on this day, March 26, in 1993.© Colin Keegan

Former detective Alan Bailey


A “significant development” likely led to gardaí upgrading the case of missing person Annie McCarrick to a murder inquiry, a former senior officer who investigated the case for over a decade believes.

Last week gardaí said advances in investigative techniques may help solve the 30-year mystery surrounding the murder of the young American, who was last seen alive on this day in 1993.

Her case was officially upgraded to a murder inquiry last Friday with a senior detective saying gardaí now accept the likelihood is that she “came to a foul demise”.

Ms McCarrick, a native of Long Island in New York, was 26 when she was last seen alive on March 26, 1993. She had been living in Sandymount and working in Dublin city centre at the time.

The last confirmed image of her is a grainy still captured on a CCTV camera inside the AIB on Sandymount Road.

It is believed that shortly after this Ms McCarrick boarded a bus to Enniskerry in Co Wicklow to go for a walk, but she never returned.

Retired Detective Sergeant Alan Bailey was formally attached to a Garda cold case unit and Operation Trace, both of which probed the disappearance of Ms McCarrick and interviewed key witnesses who last saw the young woman.

“There has obviously been some form of significant development, because it would not have been upgraded to murder otherwise. As it is now a murder investigation, it will be assigned more resources. Also the case is now back in the public domain, which is always helpful,” Mr Bailey said.

Former detective Alan Bailey

Over the past 30 years, concerns have grown that Ms McCarrick met a violent end. Rapist Larry Murphy has been linked to her disappearance, as has the Spanish serial killer Antonio Angles, who is wanted in Spain over the November 1992 murders of three teenage girls near Valencia — and would have been in Dublin just before Ms McCarrick disappeared.

Mr Bailey stressed both Murphy and the Spanish serial killer, who has never been located, are both “people of interest” rather than suspects.

Witnesses said they saw the American in the Sandymount Green area, boarding the No 44 bus to Enniskerry. She was later seen at Johnnie Fox’s pub in Glencullen.

Ms McCarrick’s father John died in 2009 without ever knowing what happened to his daughter. Her mother Nancy lives in Long Island and was recently visited by senior gardaí.

​Speaking to RTÉ News from her home, Nancy McCarrick said she didn’t believe it was “remotely possible” that Annie was alive after all these years. “I did for a very, very, very long time, but not after 30 years,” she said.

Further advances in investigative techniques may assist gardaí in finally bringing closure for the McCarrick family.

So far gardaí have discovered and collated over 5,000 documents and reports, taken more than 300 statements of evidence, and retained several exhibits.

The murder inquiry will also be following up on all reported sightings of Ms McCarrick.

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