Concern grows for missing student


Concern is growing for the safety of a trainee teacher who has been missing from her Co Kildare home since Tuesday. Ms Deirdre Jacob (18) was last seen on Tuesday afternoon about 350 yards from her home on the Barrettstown Road on the outskirts of Newbridge.

Her father, Mr Michael Jacob, said yesterday that they were "very concerned for her safety because of the nature of her disappearance. She just vanished into thin air."

Garda divers have searched the Liffey near her home, while 60 people including friends, neighbours, civil defence and the Order of Malta have searched a five-mile radius around her home.

Ms Jacob, who was due to begin a part-time summer job as a receptionist yesterday, has just completed her first year of primary teacher training in England.

She is described as 5'2" in height, of slim build, with black/ brown hair and grey/green eyes. She was wearing a navy Nike jumper with a white collar, blue jeans and blue Nike runners.

Ms Jacob's father said she always kept in contact and was "very organised in her movements and travel arrangements. If she had changed her plans she would always contact us and let us know."

Before she disappeared Ms Jacob visited her grandmother and went to the local bank at 2.22 p.m. where she was filmed on the closed-circuit cameras cashing a cheque. She then went to the post office where she was also seen on closed-circuit TV.

Gardai do not think she would have gone hitch-hiking and have no evidence that anyone picked her up.

"She is not somebody who would go off," said Sgt Seamus Rothwell of Newbridge station, "and there is no suggestion that her mental state was anything other than stable". Gardai say "there was no sign of a struggle, nothing on the road, no sounds or screaming".

Anyone with information is asked to contact gardai at Newbridge on (045) 431212, or the Garda confidential telephone number 1-800-666111.