Cold Case Review | 

Gardai to fly to France to track new Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder suspect

He is understood to have been an associate of Sophie’s late husband, Daniel Toscan Du Plantier.

Sophie Toscan Du Plantier

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Gardaí will travel to France to track down a new suspect in the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder case, it has been revealed.

The new cold case review team is following up on a statement from former Schull shopkeeper Marie Farrell, who says that the Frenchwoman was followed around the West Cork village the day before she was battered to death outside her holiday home near Toormore, Schull on December 23, 1996.

“We are taking this new evidence very seriously,” a garda source told the Irish Mirror.

“It is the first time we have another suspect in the case other than Ian Bailey and we want to find this person, interview them and get their DNA.

“For all we know he could be the killer, we have to check it all out.”

The man was identified after Ms Farrell assisted with a photofit and film director Jim Sheridan, who made the Sky documentary Murder At The Cottage about the case, also helped to identify the suspect.

He is understood to have been an associate of Sophie’s late husband, Daniel Toscan Du Plantier.

According to the publication, the suspect is living in the Paris area and Gardai reportedly know his name and address. French police have also promised to give full cooperation.

Retired Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll, who ordered the cold case review, yesterday said that the emergence of a new suspect was a huge driving force in reopening the case.

Meanwhile, former prime suspect Ian Bailey has welcomed the latest developments and continues to maintain his innocence.

He said: “I genuinely believe the blood on the concrete block and rock used to take her life will in the end help catch the killer.

“I am hoping that the latest most up-to-date forensic technology will help get a DNA blood sample match and we will solve this riddle once and for all.”

In April, we revealed that Ian Bailey had written to the Garda Commissioner asking about the status of a potential cold-case review into the killing of Sophie.

It is the third time Mr Bailey has written to the county’s top garda seeking a full review, which he insists would “clear his name”.

The body of the mother-of-one (39) was found on December 23 1996 at the entrance to her holiday home at Dreenane near Toormore. She had sustained severe head injuries.

Ian Bailey was twice arrested but never charged in Ireland in connection with Ms Toscan du Plantier’s murder.

The writer was convicted in 2019 in France in absentia of the Frenchwoman’s murder, and sentenced to 25 years.

He has repeatedly denied involvement in the killing.

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