Family plea Sister of missing Jo Jo Dollard: 'You can help Jo Jo finish her journey'
“You can help Jo Jo finish her journey”.
These were the words of the sister of missing Kilkenny woman Jo Jo Dollard today as gardai announced they are upgrading her disappearance 25 years ago to a murder inveatigation.
Jo Jo was just 21 when she vanished on November 9 1995 while making her way from Dublin city centre to her home in Callan in Co Kilkenny.
She had managed to get a bus to Naas in Co Kildare, and had thumbed a lift from there to Kilcullen and a second lift to Moone, but while on a phone call from a phone box in Moone she stopped the conversation short after telling her friend she had just got another lift.
"God, I have a lift. I’ll phone you again at my next stop’,” she told her friend.
Jo Jo was never seen again.
For years Jo Jo’s family appealed for information that might lead them to her, and her disappearance has been the subject of different garda reviews and cold case investigations.
But following the latest review, which began in February, gardai today announced that it is their belief Jo Jo is dead.
“We are satisfied that Jo Jo is dead and that she met her death through violent means,” said Detective Superintendent Desmond McTiernan at a press briefing today.
Kathleen Bergin, Jo Jo’s sister, again appealed for information.
“We agree with the decision that has been made here to upgrade Jo Jo’s case to a murder investigation.
"After all these years we have known in our hearts and accepted that Jo Jo is not alive and we are hopeful that the team will be able to move this case along further and maybe please God find answers to our questions,” she said.
“If somebody somewhere has information about Jo Jo’s disappearance, and for whatever reason they have felt unable to come forward up until now, we are praying that their circumstances have changed for whatever reason and we know and we understand that fear has been holding them back, and please believe us when we say we just want to have Jo Jo brought home,” she added.
“You will not be judged. No matter how small that piece of information is please bring it forward to the team that are working on our case, and let them decide.
"Jo Jo was on her way home that night and her journey was cut short. She did not deserve what happened to her that night. You can help Jo Jo finish that journey, and bring her home to us and lay her to rest beside mam and dad,” she explained.
Kathleen told how her sister Mary and brother Tom campaigned for years for Jo Jo, but both died without answers.
“Jo Jo can’t speak for herself, and we are Jo Jo’s voice here today, and we will continue to fight for her,” said Kathleen.
Superintendent Martin Walker made a specific appeal about a black Sanyo Walkman music player and headphones that Jo Jo had on the night she disappeared.
“Jo Jo had her Sanyo stereo cassette player with her. Did anyone see this cassette player after November 9 1995, did anyone receive such a cassette player from a friend or person that could not tell you from where they received it,” he asked.
He also said Jo Jo had been in Bruxelles Bar off Grafton Street in Dublin on the night she went missing, and appealed for anyone who saw her there, or on her way to Busaras, Naas and onwards, to get in touch.