Gardaí wait to interview Chada about sons’ deaths
Officers working on theory brothers, Ruairí (5) and Eoghan (10), may have died from asphyxiation
Eoghan (10) and Ruairí (5) Chada from Bagenalstown, Co Carlow. Photograph: Garda Press Office handout.
An undated family photo (issued by gardaí as part of a Child Rescue Ireland alert) shows Sanjeev Chada (43) with his sons Eoghan (10; left) and Ruairí (5). The bodies of the boys were found at the scene of a car crash in Co Mayo yesterday afternoon.
Gardaí examine the scene near Westport in Co Mayo where the bodies of two young brothers were found in a crashed car yesterday. Photograph: Michael McLaughlin.
The father of two boys who were found dead in a crashed car in Co Mayo yesterday is unlikely to be interviewed by gardaí until tomorrow.
Sanjeev Chada is expected to reamin in Mayo General Hospital overnight. It had been thought earlier that he would be released from hospital this evening, arrested and taken to Westport garda stationing for questioning.
Gardaí are keen to speak to him about the deaths of his two sons Ruairí (5) and Eoghan (10).
The boys’ remains underwent a preliminary examinations yesterday while still in the vehicle at the crash scene at Clooneen, Rossbeg, around four miles from Westport. They were taken from the boot of the car after those examinations and brought to Mayo General Hospital where Deputy State Pathologist Dr Khalid Jaber today carried out post mortems.
Gardaí said the results of the post mortems would not be released for operational reasons but sources told The Irish Times it did not appear there was blood at the scene and gardai have been working on the theory the boys may have died as a result of asphyxiation.
“They don’t seem to have died in a way that left blood or wounds that were immediately obvious,” said one source.
Gardai investigating the case believe the key to unraveling the events that led to the deaths of the boys and then the crash is their planned interview with him. Mr Chada is an unemployed IT consultant who had worked from home.
On Sunday evening he had set off with his sons from the family home at Ballinkillen near Bagnelstown, Co Carlow, to go bowling at the Dome Bowling Centre in Carlow.
Video of Ballinkillen principal's statement
However, subsequent investigations have established they never arrived there.
The boys’ mother and Mr Chada’s wife, Kathleen Chada became increasingly concerned for their safety and contacted gardai at 1.30am yesterday to report all three missing.
Gardai immediately knew her husband had been under extreme stress of late due a complex financial matter in his personal life.
As the search was underway for him and the children, Mr Chada contacted a family member by phone and left a distressed message that heightened the concerns of the family and Garda for the children’s safety.
Gardai issued a Child Rescue Ireland alert yesterday afternoon in which a description and registration of the green Ford Focus car carrying the boys and their father was circulated across the country by various means - including on electronic signs on motorways.
The alert was the first time a new system put in place to rapidly find children in danger has been used.
However, Mr Chada’s crashed car was found just before 4pm and the bodies of his sons found in the boot of the car.
The investigation of their deaths is expected to be upgraded as soon as the results of the post mortem become available.
Gardai have launched a public appeal in an effort to try to establish where the car carrying the boys and their father was between the time Mr Chada left home with his sons and the discovery of the vehicle across the country in Westport.
Garda sources said they have received a large volume of calls from the public and at least some of the sightings of the father and sons have been confirmed.
The investigating team in Westport has been today identifying businesses, especially petrol stations where Mr Chada may have pulled in to buy petrol, with a view to confirming at what time his sons were seated, or not, in the family car.
Garda sources said any information from CCTV cameras along the route may help narrow down the time when they died - which should be confirmed in the post mortem - and also the area where they may have died.
Gardai have also been interviewing family members and people who know Mr Chada in an effort to establish why he may have taken his children from their home without warning in a manner said to be uncharacteristic for him.