Gardaí confident of ‘imminent’ arrest for Ana Kriegel murder

Officers focusing on evidence of young children who saw her after school on day of killing

Ana Kriegel. Photograph: RIP.ie

Ana Kriegel. Photograph: RIP.ie

 

Gardaí investigating the murder and sexual assault of Anastasia “Ana” Kriegel (14) are expected to rely on children for key evidence in the case.

Progress in the murder inquiry is expected in coming days and gardaí are confident an arrest is imminent.

Gardaí have visited Confey Community School in Leixlip, Co Dublin, and spoken to first-year students there. Detectives believe information that some of the children can supply may prove crucial.

The gardaí addressed the first-years, of which Ana was one at the time of her murder last week, and told them not to be alarmed if officers needed to speak to them about the case.

The officers have visited the school to address the first-years in groups at least twice: yesterday and Monday.

After Ana’s murder last week the first-years in the 750-pupil co-ed school filled out a questionnaire, supplied by the Garda, about when they had seen Ana last. These responses were being reviewed.

Gardaí believe most of the first-year students – who are aged 12, 13 and 14 – did not see Ana after school on the day she was murdered: last Monday week, May 14th.

However, others did see her about Leixlip in the period after lessons and after the children had gone home. A small number of those children saw Ana, or spent time in her company, in a key period between 5pm and 5.30pm.

Gardaí believe she left her home on Newtown Park, Leixlip, at about 5pm intending to go to nearby St Catherine’s Park, a 200-acre park where local children gather.

Ana is known to have spent about 30 minutes there with friends.

However, she did not return home at that point and when her parents’ repeated efforts to contact her by phone over the following two hours were not successful they went to the Garda.

Ana was reported missing at Leixlip Garda station at 8pm on Monday, with a physical search in the area beginning the following day at lunchtime.

Nothing was found on Tuesday or Wednesday despite local people joining the search to ensure a large area was covered. But on Thursday Ana’s remains were found.

Her body was discovered in a derelict farmhouse closer to Lucan than her home in Leixlip.

The house, in a disused farmyard, was located off the Lucan to Clonee road, just outside Lucan and beside the perimeter of St Catherine’s Park.

Ana, who was adopted from Russia aged 2 by French-Irish parents, had been beaten to death. Gardaí believe she was killed on the evening her parents last saw her and that her body lay undiscovered for three days.

The Garda inquiry has focused on where Ana and others she was with went from about 5.30pm last Monday week and whether she may have met up with somebody else later.

Forensic Science Ireland has been working for the past week to build DNA profiles based on samples taken from Ana’s remains.

DNA profiles are also being created using samples taken from the crime scene and clothing taken from children – as young as 13 years – who were among the last people known to have spoken to Ana.

Gardaí believe when the DNA evidence is available it will exonerate innocent parties and help identify her killer.

The postmortem on Ana’s remains confirmed she died of blunt force trauma injuries during an attack in the derelict farmhouse and that she had been sexually assaulted.