Body of Aoife Phelan identified
A body discovered by gardaí yesterday in a garden in Portlaoise has been formally identified as that of missing woman Aoife Phelan.
Her body was uncovered during a planned search of an area on the Timahoe Road outside Portlaoise in Co Laois. Sources said she was beaten to death and her body put in a barrel and buried.
A 24-year-old man who was rearrested yesterday in connection with their investigation into the murder of Laois woman Aoife Phelan (30) is still in custody.
Ms Phelan was four months pregnant when she disappeared from Colliers View in Portlaoise on October 25th. She had been working in the town as a live-in nanny for a married couple.
From the outset her family described her disappearance as out of character. Along with her large circle of friends, they put up posters and appealed for information on social media.
As time elapsed and new evidence emerged, however, hopes of finding Ms Phelan alive dwindled and the investigation, which began as a missing-person case, became a murder investigation last weekend.
Gardaí arrested the man on Monday and began searching a property and land off the Timahoe Road.
The man, who was detained under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, was released without charge on Tuesday night. He was re-arrested last night following the discovery of Ms Phelan's body.
Searches had been extended to include areas of land and the river Barrow under the M7 motorway near Monasterevin in Co Kildare.
State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy conducted a postmortem at the Midland Regional Hospital at Tullamore.