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unexpected find Search for missing Deirdre Jacob uncovers ancient settlement in Co Kildare

A forensic archaeologist assisting with the dig has identified what appears to be a settlement dating back to more than 500 years BC.

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Deirdre Jacob disappeared in July 1998

Deirdre Jacob disappeared in July 1998

Deirdre Jacob disappeared in July 1998

The search for Deidre Jacob in woods in Kildare has led to an unexpected archaeological discovery.

A specialist garda and forensic team began a search of the wooded site two weeks ago after a witness reported seeing unusual activity there on the day Deirdre disappeared in July 1998.

With the search now entering its final week, the team has as yet found nothing of significance relevant to Deirdre’s disappearance.

However, a forensic archaeologist assisting with the dig, Dr Niamh McCullough, has identified what appears to be a settlement dating back to more than 500 years BC.

The area has been preserved and archaeologists will conduct further investigations in due course.

Debris found during the search has been set aside for potential forensic examination once the excavation of the area has finished.

Gardaí decided to search the area which spans three to four acres after re-interviewing a witness who reported unusual activity at the wood on the day Deirdre disappeared.

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Garda officers search the woodland at Usk Litte

Garda officers search the woodland at Usk Litte

Garda officers search the woodland at Usk Litte

The 18-year-old vanished in broad daylight while walking home to her parents’ house on the outskirts of Newbridge.

The witness saw a car with the boot open reversing on a disused and overgrown road beside the wood at around tea-time on the same day.

Deirdre was last seen at around 3pm in Newbridge, about 15 kilometres from the search area at Brewel East. The witness has been on site, helping the garda search team to locate the exact spot where he saw the car.

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Deirdre’s disappearance was upgraded to murder two years ago. Larry Murphy, a convicted rapist now living in the UK, is the chief suspect for her murder.

Gardaí are awaiting direction from the Director of Public Prosecution on whether he can be charged with the crime.

They will assess all of the materials gathered at a case conference once the search draws to a close to decide what items merit forensic examination.

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Larry Murphy

Larry Murphy

Larry Murphy

About an acre of dense wood and undergrowth remains to be searched.

The search party includes up to 15 gardaí, members of the Garda National Technical Bureau and an excavator.

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