‘All resources of a murder probe’ assigned to body parts case

Pathologist carrying out postmortem on two sections of remains found at refuse plant

The body parts are removed from the scene at the Thorntons Recycling plant on Kileen Road, Ballyfermot, this afternoon. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

The body parts are removed from the scene at the Thorntons Recycling plant on Kileen Road, Ballyfermot, this afternoon. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Fri, Aug 1, 2014, 19:50

Gardaí believe there are more human remains at a waste and recycling plant where body parts have been found.

The investigation into the origins of the limbs and identity of the deceased has been assigned all the resources of a murder inquiry, Garda sources said.

In the past, deceased homeless people have been found in mounds of rubbish at waste disposal plants after climbing into industrial bins and suffocating or being crushed when tipped into refuse trucks while asleep.

However, in the small number of those cases in the Republic, the human remains have been intact and fully clothed.

It is also possible the remains found in Ballyfermot late last night represent medical waste arising from amputations that had been accidentally disposed of in a regular refuse colletion.

However, gardaí are fearful a murder may have been committed and the remains dismembered and dumped in refuse in a bid to conceal the crime.

Garda teams were expected to spend much of the Bank Holiday Weekend searching large quantities of refuse a the Thorntons recycling plant at Killeen Road, Ballyfermot, west Dublin, where the discovery was made.

The facility was sealed off late last night when workers at the site found a leg and called gardaí just after 11.30pm.

Once the site was secured a doctor visited and confirmed the limb was human. The remains were left overnight in the spot where they were found by a worker at the plant.

This morning Deputy State Pathologist Dr Micheal Curtis visited the plant and examined the limb before it was removed for post mortem examination at Tallaght Hospital.

A second body part was found this morning by the Garda teams searching the site and is believed to come from the hip or pelvis area of the body.

It was also removed and taken to Tallaght for post mortem. That examination, which was ongoing this evening, should determine if the deceased was a man or woman, their race and how long they had been dead.

Garda sources said while it was possible a cause of death could be determined from an examination of only parts of a body, it was doubtful in this case if sufficient remains had been found to reach a definitive finding in that regard.

Work is likely to be suspended at the plant for much of the weekend as gardaí search for any other missing body parts. The routes of the trucks whose refuse created the load in which the body parts were found are also being studied in an effort to determine where the body parts might have come from.