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witness appeal Tributes paid to missing Annie McCarrick on the anniversary of her disappearance

Missing Persons Helpline Ireland appealed for anyone with information to contact gardai.

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Annie McCarrick

Annie McCarrick

Annie McCarrick

Poignant and heartfelt tributes have been paid today to missing American student Annie McCarrick on the 28th anniversary of her disappearance.

Annie was 26-years-old when she was last seen taking a bus to Enniskerry, Co Wicklow on March 26, 1993.

Today, Missing Persons Helpline Ireland posted a message on their Facebook page, to mark the anniversary of her disappearance, and to highlight the fact her father John, who spent years trying to find out what happened to her, died in 2009 with no answers.

The post adds that: “Thoughts and prayers are with Annie, her family and friends at this difficult time.”

The post has generated dozens of comments from people who remember when she vanished and from those struck by her family’s plight.

“Always remember her heartbroken Father on t.v & airwaves..to think all this time & nothing - someone out there must know something - cruel world,” one person posted.

“Time has passed and still no answers thoughts and prayers for the family and hoping someone will come foreward,” another person added.

“I posted this reply before, I am shocked at how many young women have gone missing in Ireland, this is a very small country how is this possible?

"Prayers for her and her family. Remember someone knows what happened so do the right thing,” added another.

Missing Persons Helpline Ireland post also states that it has “now emerged that investigators believe Annie was NOT in Johnny Foxes Pub in the village of Glencullen the night of her disappearance and they feel it was a case of mistaken identity”.

This is a reference to the last possible sighting of the American student, who has been missing, presumed murdered, for 27 years, which has since been questioned by investigators.

Annie, who had travelled to Ireland to study, was living in an apartment at St Catherine’s Court in Sandymount with two other friends.

On the morning of Friday, March 26 1993, she told her friends she may go for a walk in the Wicklow or Glencullen area.

At approximately 11am, she bought groceries from the then-Quinnsworth supermarket on the Sandymount Road.

She returned home with the groceries and they were left on the kitchen table.

Later that day, at 3.15pm, she took a bus from Sandymount to Ranelagh.

Annie then took the number 44 bus from Ranelagh to Enniskerry.

There was no bus from Enniskerry to Glencullen - so she would have had to walk the 6kms to where she was apparently last seen at Johnnie Fox’s Pub at Glencullen.

Annie was the first of eight women to vanish in the Leinster area in the 1990s in a series of attacks that were thought to be connected.

Larry Murphy, who was later convicted of rape, was one of the chief suspects in her disappearance and was a person of interest in all seven other disappearances. He has never been charged in connection with Annie's disappearance.

In 2020, US investigators said they had identified the main suspect in her murder .

Michael Griffith, a New York-based lawyer hired by the McCarrick family in the 1990s to assist with the investigation, travelled to Dublin that September to meet with members of An Garda Síochána about the investigation.

"We spent almost two hours talking about the case and we have agreed to share information," Griffith told the Irish Independent.

riffith said that he was hopeful he could finally get justice for the McCarrick family after a number of people contacted him and Kenneth Strange, an ex-FBI agent, with new evidence which could potentially lead to a breakthrough in the 27-year-old case.

"In the case of this person, the details provided could lead to the breakthrough we need. They gave specifics relating to one individual that warrants careful investigation,” he said at the time.

Griffith said that he couldn't go into specifics about the information but said that the witness's account tied in with information provided by a separate witness.

Griffith said that the second witness did not formerly give evidence to the gardaí at the time of McCarrick's disappearance, but he believes that her evidence is more important than originally thought.

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Bereaved: John McCarrick photographed in 1994, a year after his daughter Annie went missing. John died in 2009

Bereaved: John McCarrick photographed in 1994, a year after his daughter Annie went missing. John died in 2009

Bereaved: John McCarrick photographed in 1994, a year after his daughter Annie went missing. John died in 2009

A woman named Margaret Wogan, who has since died, is believed to have seen McCarrick with a man in a cafe in Enniskerry on the day of her disappearance.

Wogan, who worked in Poppies Cafe in Enniskerry, told gardaí at the time that she saw a man approach McCarrick in the cafe and offer to buy her a slice of cake.

She never gave a formal statement about the incident but told her daughter about what she saw. This led the team of private investigators to think that this piece of information could be crucial to solving the mystery of McCarrick's murder.

"The pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together," Griffith said.

Former FBI agent Kenneth Strange helped Annie McCarrick’s mother file a complaint with the FBI at the time.

“I’ve taken a very active interest and I’ve been in touch with the gardaí,” he said last year. “I think what we can bring to the table is a fresh set of eyes on a case that has grown stale.”

The disappearance is one of the most high-profile cases ever investigated by gardai.

Originally from Long Island, New York, she was studying in Ireland and living in Sandymount, South Dublin.

She was formally reported missing by her mother Nancy who, with her husband John, travelled to Ireland on March 30 that year and spent months fruitlessly searching for their missing daughter.

The McCarrick family have now accepted that she was murdered but her case is still that of a missing person.

If you have any information, please contact the Irishtown Garda Station @ 01-6669600 or alternatively you can contact our confidential helpline number on 1800 911 999.

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