The father of a Newbridge woman who disappeared outside her home 20 years ago says he now ‘hopeful’ that his daughter’s body will be found, with the case now being reclassified as a murder investigation.
Deirdre Jacob was 18- years-old, when last seen at the gateway to her home, at Roseberry, Newbridge, on July 28, 1998, at approximately 3.30pm. As a result of new information being received, An Garda Síochána have re-classified the Deirdre Jacob investigation from being a missing person investigation to a murder investigation.
Since her disappearance, her parents Michael and Bernadette, have never given up trying to find out what happened their daughter.
Mr Jacob said: “We are hopeful of finding a body, even tiny fragments of information is what we need. Human nature tends to hope, we have never lost sight of that, and we thought that maybe Deirdre could be found alive. It is a shock, but now the investigation is moving in a different direction, the most important now thing is finding out what happened to Deirdre.”
Senior Investigating Officer, Inspector Mel Smyth, says that an incident room open in Kildare dealing with the disappearance of Deirdre Jacob was set up 12 months ago and remains open.
New lines of inquiry are now being followed after new information has been received.
Speaking to KildareNow, Inspector Smyth says while ‘no suspects are being questioned’, new information allows the case to be re-classified into a murder investigation.
He said: “Somebody has come with new information, the investigation has progressed. We believe Deirdre Jacob was murdered. It is traumatic for the family to be informed that their daughter was murdered. They probably always felt that someday she may walk in the door, it takes away that hope. We are following a few definite lines of inquiry and are making progress.”
The murder investigation is being conducted by Gardaí from the Kildare Garda District with the support of the Serious Crime Review Team.
Deirdre Jacob was last seen on July 28, 1998 near her home, at Roseberry, Newbridge, Co Kildare at approximately 3 pm. There has been a 20-year investigation into Deirdre’s disappearance during which significant enquiries were carried out to establish her whereabouts and to investigate the circumstances in which she disappeared. As a result of new information being received, An Garda Síochána this morning announced that they have re-classified the Deirdre Jacob investigation from a missing person investigation to a murder investigation.
The murder investigation is being conducted by Gardai from the Kildare Garda District with the support of the Serious Crime Review Team.
Deirdre had just completed one year teacher training in St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, London. On Tuesday 28 July 1998, she left her home at about noon and walked into Newbridge to visit her grandmother. At about 2.10pm she went to the AIB Bank in Newbridge and then to the Post Office and returned back to her grandmother before setting out on the walk back home.
It takes about 25 minutes to walk to her house from Newbridge. She was last seen at approximately 3.30pm at the gateway to her house, there have been no sightings of her since this.
She is described as being 5’2" in height, slim build, black/brown hair (short style), grey/green eyes and when last seen she was wearing a navy NIKE jumper with white collar, blue jeans and blue NIKE runners. She also had a very distinctive shoulder bag with the logo "CAT" on it.
Inspector Séamus Rothwell, who has been involved in the investigation from the beginning said: "It looked suspicious from the beginning, we did not want to close any avenues for a long time. The family still had hope, as time went on, the hope was diminishing of finding Deirdre alive. Her family are extremely strong people who are determined to find out what happened to their daughter, I have always admired that they never gave up. It is the totality of the information and now that we are working on something new that leads it to be re-classified to a murder investigation."
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