Gardaí investigate possible local link to Ballincollig murder

Polish father of two may have been targeted in a case of mistaken identity

Mikolaj Wilk who was killed by a gang who broke into his home, and his wife Elzbieta who was injured in the attack. Photograph:  Provision

Mikolaj Wilk who was killed by a gang who broke into his home, and his wife Elzbieta who was injured in the attack. Photograph: Provision

 

Gardaí investigating the murder of a Polish father of two in Co Cork at the weekend are examining whether there may be a local link to the killing after establishing that a car suspected of being used by the killers had previously been sold locally.

Officers investigating the killing of Mikolaj Wilk (35) at his home at Bridge House, Maglin near Ballincollig by a masked gang armed with machetes at around 3am on Sunday have identified a BMW 3 series car found on fire six kilometres away at Iniskenny, Ballinora, Waterfall at 4.20am.

Gardaí have traced the last registered owner of the car as a man living in the Ballincollig area and have established that it was since sold on by him.

Garda technical experts are continuing to examine the car and some machetes found in the burnt out vehicle along with a revolver with five bullets in the chamber in the hope of establishing whether the gun may have been used in any other crimes.

Gardaí say they are somewhat perplexed by discovering a loaded gun in the burnt out car and are wondering whether the weapon may have jammed.

Gardaí have also begun calling to filling stations in the Cork area to obtain CCTV security footage in the hope that they might be able to identify the BMW car and anyone buying petrol which they believe was used to torch the vehicle after Mr Wilk’s killing.

A burned out car which is suspected to have been used as a getaway vehicle in the murder of Mikolaj Wilk. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
A burned out car which is suspected to have been used as a getaway vehicle in the murder of Mikolaj Wilk. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Gardaí say they are keeping an open mind on a motive for Mr Wilk’s killing which senior sources have described as one of the most violent they have ever encountered in Cork with Mr Wilk suffering extensive slash wounds on his head, body, legs and arms during the attack by the three- or four-man gang.

Gardaí have examined the possibility that Mr Wilk, who ran a gardening business and was not known to police, may have been targeted in a case of mistaken identity but have found no conclusive evidence, such as the attackers naming the victim during the attack, to either confirm or reject such a theory.

The garda technical examination of Mr Wilk’s house is continuing, including an examination of some sheds where they found blood which they initially thought may have ended up the sheds via the gang after they attacked Mr Wilk, leading to a theory that the gang were looking for something.

However, gardaí are also looking at the possibility that the blood may have been carried to the sheds by Mr Wilk’s wife, Elzbieta, who suffered serious injuries to her hands as she tried to defend herself and her husband when the gang attacked him.

It is understood that Ms Wilk, who is still in hospital after undergoing surgery to save three of her fingers which suffered serious slash wounds, has told investigating officers that the gang spoke in fluent English.

Gardaí say they are somewhat perplexed by discovering a loaded gun in the burnt out car and are wondering whether the weapon may have jammed.