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11 years on... Esra Uyrun told her husband she’d be home in a few minutes, but never she returned

Set of car keys may yet prove crucial to solving mystery of the young mother’s disappearance

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Esra Uyrun

Esra Uyrun

Esra Uyrun

A set of car keys found in a shop in Clondalkin, Dublin, could be vital in finding out what happened to a young mother who disappeared 11 years ago.

February 23, 2011, seemed like an ordinary Wednesday for the Uyrun family, when Esra Uyrun (37) apparently nipped out to the local shops early that morning at around 7.15am.

She told her husband Ozgur that she would be home in a few minutes so he could use the car to go to work.

But Esra, originally from Turkey, has never been seen since.

The trip to the shops and back should have only taken a short while, but staff at the shops have told gardaí that Ms Uyrun never arrived.

Her car, a Renault Twingo with the registration 08-D-23067, was spotted at the Power City roundabout in Clondalkin around a half an hour after she is believed to have left her house.

But it should only have taken her four or five minutes to get there if she drove that way from her home in Collinstown Grove.

The car was later found parked up in Bray, Co Wicklow, and CCTV showed it driving erratically in the seaside town at around 8.30am.

Ms Uyrun’s sister Berna Fidan comes to Ireland around the anniversary of her disappearance to highlight the fact that she is still missing, and while posting flyers in Bray in the days before the first anniversary of her disappearance in 2012, Berna’s daughter Ayda went into a local retail business in Neilstown, near Clondalkin, where Esra had been a regular customer.

Ayda handed in a new poster of Esra. But after she left, a staff member came running out and handed them a set of car keys, telling Berna they must have belonged to Esra.

“There were photos on the keyring showing Esra, husband Ozgur and their little son,” Ms Fidan said.

“The staff member said the bunch of keys were found on a counter in the shop a few months earlier, after Esra had disappeared.”

They said that no one in the shop had made the link with the poster photos of Esra at the time the keys were found until weeks later, and by that time there was no CCTV of who left them on the counter.

“I remember I was shaking after being handed the keys. It was so disappointing that nothing came of it,” said Berna.

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“Esra had lost one set of keys months before she disappeared, but if she had lost them in the shop surely she would have retraced her steps until she found them, because she would not have been able to use the car to get home,” she added.

“Esra and Ozgur shared the last set of keys after that, and I think the keys found in the shop could be the keys used to take the car to Bray,” she added.

“If they are the keys used to drive the car to Bray, how did they get back to the Clondalkin area?” Berna asked.

And while the CCTV in Bray shows the car, it does not show who was driving it or who parked it.

Similarly, at the Power City roundabout in Clondalkin, there are no visuals on who was behind the wheel.

“I believe something happened near Esra’s home. She left the house no later than 7.20am and the car was at the Power City roundabout just before 8am, but it would only have taken Esra a maximum of five minutes to get there.

“What happened in that half-hour or so?” Berna asked.

“The timeline from the roundabout to Bray fits fine, but we don’t know who was driving her car.

“The CCTV shows her car nearly colliding with a silver Skoda Octavia at the car park near the Star Amusements on the seafront, and we have appealed for the driver of that car to come forward, but so far they have not.

“I would appeal again for that person to contact gardaí,” said Berna.

Esra’s purse, with cash and credit cards, was found locked in the boot, and there has been no traffic on her bank accounts since. Her passport was left at home.

Berna also said that Esra had shown no signs of depression or plans to take her life or flee in the days before she vanished.

“She was busy organising a visit of our mother and her mother-in-law the next day.

“She had asked me to bring things from London.

“She had been cleaning the house and (was) really looking forward to having them visit.”

She also spoke of the pain and frustration of not knowing whether her sister is alive or dead.

“If she is trapped somewhere and suffering then one situation is as bad as the other. I just wish we knew one way or the other.

“I’d hate to think she has been taken and is suffering all this time.

“If she is alive but being held against her will, she could never recover – even if she was found today. If she is dead and we could find her, then at least we could put her to rest,” she said.

Ms Fidan still travels to Dublin and Bray every year to keep the campaign to find her sister going.

She was not able to travel last year because of Covid restrictions, but was very thankful to the people of Clondalkin and Bray for putting up campaign posters on her behalf.

“I will be back this year again to keep Esra’s case in people’s minds.

“Every year my mother gets nervous when I travel to Ireland because that is where Esra went missing, but she also hopes I will come home with some answers.”

Gardaí say that the missing persons case file is still open and being investigated.

As time passed after Esra’s disappearance, Ozgur moved back to London with their son who is now 13.

“Back then he was told, ‘Mammy went to the shops and got lost’. But he’s older now and will be asking questions of his own soon,” said Berna.

“We know somebody is out there who knows something and we just need them to come forward.”

Anyone with any information on the case or Ms Uyrun’s whereabouts is asked to contact Ronanstown Garda Station on 01 666 7700, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or to contact any garda station.

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