Snatched from street, brutalised, shot in the head and dumped
Barbaric end to short life of teenager Marioara Rostas
The scene at Kippure near Sally Gap in the Dublin Mountains, where the body of Marioara Rostas was found in January 2012. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins
From a family of 15 siblings, born in Timisoara in western Romania, Marioara Rostas arrived in Ireland on December 7th, 2007. She took a Ryanair flight to Dublin to join her parents and some of her siblings, who had arrived in Ireland three months earlier.
They had been in the Republic before – one of a number of Roma families who set up a makeshift camp on a roundabout near the M50 in Ballymun, north Dublin, in 2007. After the high-profile removal of the camp, Marioara’s family were among those repatriated at the time, but would return later that year.
While she stayed in Romania on that occasion, she was assaulted there and it was decided it would be better if she joined her parents in Ireland.
The family’s only source of income while here was through begging.
On the day 18-year-old Marioara was last seen alive – Sunday, January 6th, 2008 – she was with her brother Dumitru (15). They were begging from motorists stopping at the junction of Lombard Street and Pearse Street in Dublin’s south inner city. The boy later told gardaí that Marioara got into a silver Mondeo car driven by a man. She was in the front passenger seat and assured him she was being taken to McDonald’s. Dumitru said the driver of the vehicle, who was never identified, gave him €10.
Although he and other family members begging close by paced the streets at the junction for hours waiting for her return, they would never see her again. It took three days for them to find an interpreter, who took them to gardaí to report the girl missing. None of the family she was with in Ireland had a mobile phone, although one brother back in Romania was contactable by telephone.
While being held captive somewhere, Marioara managed to get access to a phone the day after she was last seen alive and she rang her brother Alexandru.
She was able to read to him some of the letters on a street name she could see from the property where she was being held. She said she had been sexually assaulted and was asking for her “Daddy to come get her”. However, the information was not enough for gardaí to go on and soon after the panicked call home she was shot in the head four times after being beaten and raped.
Supt Michael O’Sullivan, in an appeal at the time, described the end she met as “incomprehensible in a civilised society”.
Her body was wrapped in plastic sheeting and dumped in a shallow grave in the mountains on the Dublin-Wicklow border in a forest between Kilbride and Sally Gap.
As gardaí investigated, they discovered the family was living in a squalid derelict house in Donabate, north Dublin. It had no running water or electricity, but was home to up to 20 members of the Roma community.