Family of vanished Deirdre Jacob pin hopes on enhanced CCTV

Teenager missing since 1998 now central to murder inquiry as gardaí trawl for witnesses

Gardaí release CCTV footage that captures the last seen footage of Deirdre Jacob. The disappearance of Deirdre Jacob has been upgraded from a missing persons inquiry to a murder investigation. Video: An Garda Síochána

 

The father of Deirdre Jacob, the student who went missing more than 20 years ago, has said he is hopeful enhanced CCTV footage will advance the Garda investigation into his daughter’s disappearance.

The 18-year-old vanished near her home outside Newbridge, Co Kildare, on July 28th, 1998. She had gone to get a bank draft to pay for student accommodation in London where she was studying to become a primary school teacher.

The investigation was upgraded from a missing persons inquiry to a murder investigation last year.

CCTV footage taken from different points in Newbridge on the day she went missing and the days leading up to her disappearance are in the process of being digitalised and gardaí hope this will identify several new witnesses.

Convicted rapist Larry Murphy remains a key suspect in Garda investigations. Murphy was released from prison in 2010 having served 10 years of a 15-year sentence for the kidnapping, rape and attempted murder of a woman in the Wicklow mountains in 2001.

Michael Jacob said the family is optimistic the enhanced footage will “bring new leads or progress the case in some way. They’ve been working on this for a while, they’re enhancing the CCTV tapes.”

What the family believe

Parents of Deirdre Jacob, Michael and Bernadette Jacob, at Naas Garda station, Co Kildare during an appeal to the public marking the 20th Anniversary Deirdre’s disappearance this year. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Parents of Deirdre Jacob, Michael and Bernadette Jacob, at Naas Garda station, Co Kildare during an appeal to the public marking the 20th Anniversary Deirdre’s disappearance this year. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Mr Jacob said he is in regular contact with investigating officers, who are pursuing “a number of lines of inquiry”. He said the family is “positive” they will find out what happened to the teenager.

“If you don’t face this with a very positive attitude, it could destroy you,” he said.

“You have to be very positive and hope that the next article in the paper or next appeal will bear fruit.

“We as a family want to make a direct appeal to anyone that has information. We want people to realise maybe you might not have the information yourself, but may be very well aware of someone that has information. That needs to be conveyed to the gardaí.”

Mr Jacob added that “there is someone that knows, there may be a number of people who know or who know where the information is. Now would be a very time to bring that information in and let the gardaí work on it.”