Ana Kriegel profile: A ‘unique girl’, ‘full of fun’ who loved to dance

Teenager was strong and tall, ‘a typical Siberian,’ her mother told the trial

Video: The parents of Ana Kriégel spoke briefly after two 14-year-old boys were found guilty of her murder

 

Outside court on Tuesday, Ana Kriégel’s parents made a brief statement following the conclusion of a seven week trial which saw their daughter’s killers convicted of murder.

“Ana was our strength,” Patric Kriégel said. “Ana was a dream come true for us and she always will be. She will stay in our hearts, forever loved and forever cherished. We love you Ana,” her mother Geraldine said.

Born in the city of Novokuznetsk in western Siberia February 2004, Ana was adopted at the age of two and a half by Geraldine and Patric. She was their first child and every year afterwards they would celebrate both her birthday and her adoption day.

Her parents made sure she never forgot her Russians roots. They kept her name, Anastasia, although everyone would call her Ana. Her online profile picture was of a Siberian tiger.

At her funeral on May 31st 2018 a Russian flag and a matryoshka doll were placed on her coffin. Geraldine and Patric had announced their adoption of Ana in 2006 by handing their friends a similar doll containing her picture.

As they left court, Patric and Geraldine Kriégel hugged the gardaí and said “well done” to them. Photograph: Collins Courts
As they left court, Patric and Geraldine Kriégel hugged the gardaí and said “well done” to them. Photograph: Collins Courts

Ana was strong and tall, “a typical Siberian,” her mother told the trial. This meant she was an exceptional swimmer, she said, and loved being in the water.

She was tall for her age, about 5’8’’ which made her stand out. “She was taller than me,” her father said with a smile during evidence. In her first year on secondary school she took part in a fashion show organised by older teens to raise money for charity.

Ana “volunteered for everything,” her mother said including supervising a tiny tots disco on Halloween 2018.

She loved to dance and “spent hours in our front room, listening to music, practising her moves,” Geraldine said. She also loved to sing and at the time at the time of her death was planning on learning the guitar.

She also loved France, the home country of her father. The family would return there every summer for their holidays, something symbolised at Ana’s funeral by the placing of an Eiffel Tower on the coffin.

Movies and music

She had a loving family and was never happier than when at home. She liked making YouTube videos about dancing, makeup and clothes but her favourite pastime was watching princess movies with her mother while eating popcorn.

Like all teenagers, she went through various phases. In secondary school she started wearing “goth” style clothes. She dyed her hair black and started wearing dark clothes. Her favourite top was a distinctive black hoodie her mother brought from China.

Ana Kriégel at a school graduation
Ana Kriégel at a school graduation

She had a handful of friends, including a girl who would call over for sleepovers and to watch films, but she was often lonely. She was endlessly bullied inside and outside school, her mother said.

“People didn’t understand her. She was unique and full of fun,” Patric said.

“She couldn’t hate anyone even though some of the people were bullying her. She was disappointed with people. That happened quite regularly.

“She tried to make friends but might say the wrong thing; she was a teenager.”

She loved to go for long walks while listening to music on her distinctive blue headphones. Other girls would walk with friends but Ana almost always walked alone, her mother said.

On Tuesday afternoon her parents sat quietly in court earlier as the verdicts were read out. Patric rested his hand on his wife’s knee as he had throughout the trial, she holding his hand.

Geraldine wept silently in the moments afterwards as she and her husband embraced friends and family. Both parents nodded to the jury as they left the courtroom, becoming more emotional as the moments passed.

When the jury left, the Kriégels huddled together with their friends and family. As they left court, Patric and Geraldine hugged the gardaí and said “well done” to them.Two Garda vans arrived a short time later to take the boys away.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott adjourned the trial until July 15th to allow probation, psychiatric and school reports to be submitted. He remanded both boys to Oberstown Detention Centre until that date.