CCTV checked to test teenage witnesses’ accounts in Ana Kriegel murder

Boy says he was attacked on his way home from park where teenager vanished

Ana Kriegel murder: the four-day gap between the teenager’s death and the discovery of her body should have little effect on the quality of DNA samples, according to forensics sources. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Ana Kriegel murder: the four-day gap between the teenager’s death and the discovery of her body should have little effect on the quality of DNA samples, according to forensics sources. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

 

Gardaí investigating the murder and sexual assault of Ana Kriegel in Co Dublin last week have been seeking CCTV footage from private houses. Detectives want to pinpoint the exact movements of the 14-year-old and other children who were with her just before she vanished last Monday.

One boy has said he was attacked on his way home after spending time with Ana and other teenagers in St Catherine’s Park, which straddles Lucan and Leixlip. He has said he was injured and had blood on his clothes as a result of that assault, by two men.

A number of children have given accounts of their movements, and Ana’s movements, when they last saw her. Gardaí say differences have emerged about how a group that included Ana and a number of boys dispersed from the park at 5.30pm. Gardaí are hopeful that local CCTV will establish the movements of those who were the last, or among the last, to see Ana alive.

Sources have stressed that none of the teenagers, who are 13 and 14 years old, may have done anything wrong. But investigators believe DNA samples taken from Ana’s remains, from the crime scene and from clothes taken from a number of teenagers will prove crucial, exonerating those who have had no involvement in the crime while helping to identify the killer.

Derelict farmhouse

Gardaí believe that Ana, who was adopted from Russia at the age of two, was murdered in the derelict farmhouse off the Lucan-Clonee road, near St Catherine’s Park, where her body was found.

She had left her home, on Newtown Park in Leixlip, at about 5pm last Monday to meet friends in the park. Her family reported her missing at 8pm, after they were unable to reach her by telephone. A search began the following day, but her remains were not found until Thursday afternoon. She suffered fatal blunt-force injuries, and was sexually assaulted, where she was found. Gardaí believe she had been dead since Monday evening.

The four-day gap between the murder and the discovery of her body should have little effect on the quality of DNA samples, according to sources at Forensic Science Ireland, the State crime laboratory, which will be able to compare them to those of the thousands of offenders and suspected offenders on the national DNA database.

Since its establishment, in 2016, the database has helped more than 500 investigations, including those of two murders. Although Forensic Science Ireland has a backlog of DNA to analyse, serious crimes can be prioritised. DNA results from the scene of Ana’s murder are expected early this week.

Investigators will also examine samples given voluntarily by the people who had contact with Ana before her death. This will help eliminate them from their investigation, as well as narrow down the pool of suspects. Gardaí can also obtain a warrant to take DNA samples from any suspects.