Gardai launch search for murdered Jastine Valdez’s handbag

Garda search teams along with 60 members of the Defence Forces are searching the Cherrywood Road in Dublin.

Gardai and the Defence Forces launch a search in Enniskerry today Photo: Colin O'Riordan

They are also expected to search the Kilcrony Road in Enniskerry where Ms Valdez was abducted.

Jastine Valdez, 24, was spotted being bundled into a black jeep in Enniskerry at approximately 6.15pm on Saturday.

Gardai and the Defence Forces launch a search in Enniskerry today Photo: Colin O'Riordan

A body, believed to be that of Ms Valdez, was found in a disused golf course in Rathmichael at 3.30pm on Monday.

A post-mortem yesterday revealed that Ms Valdez died of manual strangulation.

Jastine Valdez in a photo from her Facebook page

Gardai now believe that Ms Valdez’ suspected abductor and killer, Mark Hennessy, may have killed her within an hour of the abduction before dumping the body in the remote location.

An eyewitness is reported to have seen a woman in a distressed state in a car on the M11 at approximately 7pm on Saturday.

Flowers left at the scene in Rathmichael where the body of Jastine Valdez was found yesterday. Photo: PA/Donall Farmer

Gardai are now investigating the possibility that Ms Valdez was murdered shortly after this sighting. can also reveal that tragic Ms Valdez was murdered near the scene where her body was dumped.

Jastine Valdez was enjoying life following her move from the Philippines

Father-of-two Hennessy, 40, was shot and died on Sunday night after being confronted by an armed Garda detective.

Gardaí are also investigating reports that Hennessy was socialising in a pub in the Ballybrack area on Saturday night.

It is believed he went drinking just hours after Ms Valdez’s abduction.

It has now emerged the murder suspect left a note covered in blood in his car in which he told gardaí he had dumped the Filipino woman’s remains in the Puck’s Castle Lane area of Rathmichael in south Dublin.

Following a large-scale search operation involving gardaí and the Defence Forces, her body was found in gorse in the Rathmichael area of south Dublin, almost 48 hours after being abducted.

Deputy State Pathologist Linda Mulligan was due at the scene last night to carry out a preliminary examination of the body and formal identification was due to take place.

Gardaí have not yet established a connection between Hennessy and Ms Valdez and investigators at this stage believe the abduction was a random attack.

Witnesses – who included a 12-year-boy – reported seeing a woman being punched by a male and then forced into a black Nissan Qashqai along the Kilcroney Road, Enniskerry, at 6.15pm on Saturday.

Later that evening, the family of Ms Valdez reported her missing and gardaí established a link between the reported abduction and the young woman’s disappearance.

A number of appeals were issued on Sunday, and a Garda manhunt resulted in Hennessy being found at a car park in Cherrywood, south Dublin.

It is understood that the murder suspect was self-harming and also attempted to attack a garda before he was shot by an armed detective from a south Dublin station. He was struck in the arm and head and was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

A Gsoc investigation has been launched into this incident, and the garda in question has been receiving support from colleagues.

The experienced detective, who is originally from Wexford, has been described as a highly respected officer who has never faced any disciplinary issues.

It can also be revealed that Hennessy appeared in court just last Monday to face a number of charges relating to drink driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

This related to an incident in Bray in September of last year, when he crashed into another motorist.

He was due to re-appear in Bray district court on June 11 in relation to the matter.

Anyone with information should contact Bray Garda Station on 01-6665300 the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.
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