Murder inquiry launched following postmortem on Tipperary body
Remains believed to be that of man missing for two years
The body, found near a house between Tipperary town and Bansha, is believed to be that of Bobby Ryan (52), who has been missing for almost two years. Photograph: Frank Miller
Gardaí tonight launched a murder inquiry into the death of a man whose decomposed body was found at the bottom of a pit yesterday afternoon.
The body, found near a house between Tipperary town and Bansha, is not likely to be positively identified until this evening at the earliest but is believed to be that of Bobby Ryan (52), who has been missing for almost two years.
The remains were found lying in water at the bottom of a disused storage pit in the townland of Fawnagown leading gardaí to believe they may have been the remains of Mr Ryan as he was last seen in that area on the morning of June 3rd, 2011.
For operational reasons, detectives did not reveal the results of a postmortem examination carried out on the body at Waterford Regional Hospital yesterday, but confirmed the death is now the subject of a murder investigation.
DNA samples are likely to be needed to verify the identity of the dead man although some possessions found on clothing on the decomposed remains, understood to include a wallet, are also being examined. The family believe his are the remains found in the pit.
He has been the subject of an active search by gardaí, family and friends since he went missing, with his children Robert and Michelle to the fore in co-ordinating the response to his disappearance.
Bobby worked as a driver but was also well-known as a DJ around the Tipperary area, using the name “Mr Moonlight,” and lived in the village of Boherlahan, about five kilometres from Cashel. It’s understood he was visiting his partner, Mary Lowry before he was last seen by her when he was leaving her house in Fawnagown at about 6.30am on June 3, 2011.
His brother, John Ryan, said last September he believed Bobby was dead and he spoke this week of “mixed emotions” following the discovery of the body: relief that the search was over along with grief over the loss.
Samples of DNA have been taken from both Robert and Michelle Ryan in an attempt to match them with the remains.