MISSING Deirdre Jacob’s mother says she struggled to imagine her daughter at 40 — she has been 18 in her head for so long.
Grieving Bernadette Jacob has opened up ahead of what would be Deirdre’s milestone birthday in October.
The teenager went missing from outside her home in Newbridge, Co Kildare on July 18, 1998 and after decades of searching for a missing person, last year gardai upgraded the probe to a murder investigation.
Convicted rapist Larry Murphy is the chief suspect identified by gardai.
Bernadette told Virgin Media News: “It’s hard to get my head around the fact she would be 40, because I still remember her when she was 18.
"But I am also conscious of the fact she was deprived of, well we were deprived of having our daughter with us and she was deprived of spending the time with her family and her friends.”
Gardaí believe that at least two people have crucial information which would allow them to close the file and send to the DPP.
Investigators are eager to trace an anonymous caller who rang the station after last year’s appeal and said they saw something potentially suspicious near where Deirdre disappeared, the day after she vanished.
And they also want to speak to a man who was a close associate of Baltinglass sex offender Murphy, a man they believe has incriminating info on Murphy.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Newbridge Garda Station at 045-431212; or the Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111.