'somebody knows' Sister of missing Esra Uyrun arrives in Ireland ahead of 11-year anniversary of disappearance
Esra was last seen leaving her home in Dublin on February 23, 2011
THE sister of missing woman Esra Uyrun has said she is determined to bring her home one day no matter how long it takes, as she arrived in Ireland today ahead of the 11 years anniversary of her disappearance.
Esra was last seen leaving her home in Collinstown Grove in Clondalkin, Dublin around 7.15am. on February 23, 2011
There was a gap of around half an hour between her leaving the house and the car being picked up on CCTV around a four minute drive from her house.
The mother-of-one’s car was later found in Bray, Co. Wicklow, but CCTV couldn’t determine who was driving the vehicle and no trace has been found of Esra ever since.
Esra was originally from the UK but moved to Ireland with her husband Ozgur and son Emin when Ozgur got a job in Dublin.
Ozgur and Emin later returned to the UK after her disappearance to be closer to family there.
Until Covid hit in 2020 Berna travelled to Ireland at least twice a year in her quest for answers to what happened to her sister.
Due to Covid Berna hasn’t been able to travel over since February 2020 but arrived into Ireland yesterday morning with her friend Ilknur McCormack for the first time in two years to seek answers.
She told the Sunday World she will never give up on trying to find out what happened to Esra.
“I don't care how long it takes we're going to bring our home one day,” Berna said.
“It 11 years now but we're still in square one. Yeah. We haven't actually moved anything on because we've got no evidence, no proof, no CCTV. No nothing. Buti think someone out there knows what happened and we just need them to come forward.”
Gardai who initially investigated Esra’s disappearance told Berna they believe she took her own life but Berna doesn’t believe this was the case.
The investigation remains open and gardai from Ronanstown are set to meet Berna this week but have no fresh leads in the disappearance.
Berna said reports that the Serious Crime Review Team, also known as the cold case unit, were looking into the case were incorrect but she said she would welcome the cold case team becoming involved.
“They're not actually involved but I would like then to become involved.”
She said as the initial lead investigator believed it was a suicide that set the tone for any further investigation.
“He thought ‘oh, she's just committed suicide. Don't bother to pursue it.’. I think that set that scene for them. And it just carried on like, through the years. And you know what, they didn't take it serious.”
Berna said she believes Esra is dead and believes the key lies in the time she left her house and when she picked up on CCTV. Despite the journey only being around four minutes the car wasn’t picked up on CCTV for around half an hour.
“Whatever happened, it happened within the first hour near her home. I am so convinced of that,” Berna said.
“Her husband said she left at 20 past seven. Her number being a number plate [was caught on camera] just before eight o'clock. What happened in that half an hour missing? It’s the big crucial time. Where was she and what happened in that half an hour?
“They keep saying oh, husband could have got the time wrong. I said no matter how wrong he gets it. This is only a four minute drive to that.”
Berna and her friend Ilknur believe people out there know exactly what happened to Berna and have appealed to them to finally come forward 11 years on.
“People out there that know what went on,” said Ilknur.
“I just think maybe out of loyalty nobody's speaking up. I just hope to gods that the guilt of what what's happened eats them inside and hopefully, sooner rather than later they come forward.
“I really do hope it haunts them severely to the extent that they need it to stop and have to speak up. . It's horrible thing to say, but I really hope that they're riddled with guilt of knowing.”
Berna added: “Somebody must know something. Somebody always knows.”
Berna had to go to gardai recently after someone bombarded her with hundreds of messages online saying horrific things including one saying: “Get over yourself. She's dead. Just get on with your life. You're wasting your time.”
The person who sent the message claimed to know what happened to Esra and described in graphic detail how she died but then also sent messages saying she could have been abducted and is being held against her will. They also asked Berna to send them money.
The same person, who is understood to be based in the UK, bombarded gardai with messages about the case but are not believed to have any credible information.
Berna asked gardai to speak to the person to tell them to stop sending the messages. While gardai contacted them by email they did not respond. Gardai advised her to contact police in the UK. She went to UK police over it but they told her that gardai had to formally request them to become involved.
Gardai were supposed to meet Berna yesterday after she met with the Sunday World but they said they had to rearrange to Monday instead to update her on the case.
Berna and Ilknur will be in Bray today tomorrow putting up poster and appealing for information.
Crimecall are also set to feature the case and are travelling to Bray this week to film a piece to be broadcast on Monday 28 February which is a day before Esra’s birthday.
Berna said the trip to Ireland has been emotional as it was the first time she has been able to get over in two years due to Covid restrictions.
She said she is determined to find answers particularly for her elderly mother who has a number of health issues.
Some who has information just needs to come forward. They desperately need to come forward. I really want answers for my mum. She is getting more frail every year and she needs answers.”
She said every time she travels to Ireland her mum tells her to “be careful” while she’s here because she fears something will happen to her while she’s here.
She phoned me last night and said promise me you're going to be careful. She wants me to come over because I hope that I will come back with some news but then she's scared for me to come over because Esra came and never got back.”
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