Gardaí identify ‘person of interest’ in Deirdre Jacob murder inquiry

Gardaí have identified a ‘person of interest’ in the Deirdre Jacob murder inquiry.

The case of the 18-year-old who went missing in Kildare 20 years ago has been upgraded after new information came to light.

She was last seen close to her home in Newbridge around 3pm on July 28, 1998.

Officers say they now think she was murdered on the day she disappeared or shortly afterwards.

Deirdre at the time of her disappearance, and a depiction of how she would look now if she had lived.

Her parents Michael and Bernie say they are devastated.

Her father Michael said: "When you hear those words and it's upgraded to murder, it's still a shock when you hear those cold words. We were literally stunned by it."

Her mother Bernie said: "Noone wants to hear that their child has been murdered. It's very difficult to take it."

It is understood Gardaí are focusing on a man who has spent time in prison for violent crimes against women, and is now overseas.

Chief Superintendent Brian Sutton, who is heading up the investigation, said: "There are people out there who may have information, who may have come forward with a limited information at the time.

"But now, their moral compass might have changed, their family situation may have changed, they may have kids of their own at this stage, and I ask for them to come forward."

Earlier: Gardaí upgrade Deirdre Jacob missing person investigation to murder inquiry

Gardaí investigating the disappearance of Deirdre Jacob have launched a murder inquiry.

The missing person poster issued in 2008 appealing for information on Deirdre Jacob.

The Kildare woman was 18 years old when she went missing 20 years ago.

Deirdre Jacob was last seen on the afternoon of July 28, 1998, near her home, at Roseberry, Newbridge.

Over the last 12 months, the 20-year-old investigation has been reviewed in detail by Gardaí from Kildare and the Serious Crime Review Team.

Detectives now say that as a result of new information coming to light the case has been upgraded from a missing person to a murder investigation.

Gardaí say they are following a number of lines of inquiry and progress is being made.

They are also appealing for anyone with information in relation to the murder of Deirdre Jacob to come forward, particularly those who have not come forward in the past.

Speaking today at Naas Garda Station, Chief Superintendent Brian Sutton said: "Deirdre Jacob was 18 years of age when she was last seen on 28th July 1998 as she walked to her home in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

She was a young woman starting off her life, who had just completed one year at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London.

"Deirdre had enjoyed her life in London and was looking forward to returning to college that September when her life was taken away on or after the 28th July 1998."

The investigation team can be contacted at Kildare Garda Station, 045 521222 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

Most Read in Ireland