Jastine Valdez to lie in repose in Co Wicklow

Body of 24-year-old released to her family five days after Mark Hennessy killed her

The remains of murdered Jastine Valdez have been released to her family five days after she was killed by Mark Hennessy (40).

Members of the public will have an opportunity to pay their respects to the 24-year-old from the Philippines when her remains lie in repose at a funeral home in Bray, Co Wicklow.

They will lie in repose at Thomas Murphy & Sons funeral home, Boghall Road, Bray, between 2pm and 6pm on Friday.

Afterwards, the murder victim's body will be flown to the Philippines, the homeland she left for Ireland three years ago.


Her death notice reads: "Jastine Jeryl Valdez, aged 24 years, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, and late of the Philippines.

"Beloved devoted daughter of Danilo and Teresita Valdez. Will be sadly missed and remembered with love by her parents, grandmother Marcelina, grandfather Felepipe, aunts, uncles, extended family and many close friends in Ireland and the Philippines."

Ms Valdez had been living in Enniskerry with her parents, who became Irish citizens in recent years. Last Saturday just after 6pm she was abducted from a roadside while walking just outside the village.

Ms Valdez, who had been studying accountancy in Tallaght IT, was bundled into the back of a Nissan Qashqai driven by Mark Hennessy.

The construction worker and father of two, from Ballybrack in south Dublin but living in Bray, strangled her. He then dumped her body off Puck's Castle Lane, Rathmichael, south Co Dublin, in thick gorse.

Fought for life

Gardaí believe Hennessy was acting out of a sexual motive at the time of the abduction. However, they believe Ms Valdez fought for her life and so Hennessy killed her very soon after abducting her.

It is not yet clear if she was sexually assaulted, with the results of tests awaited to confirm that.

The Garda inquiry has still been unable to find any previous connection between Hennessy and Ms Valdez before he abducted her.

However, electronic devices such as phones and computers are still being examined to establish if Hennessy and Ms Valdez may have been in contact online, though there is no evidence of that to date.

Because both Hennessy and Ms Valdez are dead, there is no criminal inquiry. Instead, the Garda investigation will inform the inquests.

The circumstances of Hennessy's death are also being investigated. The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission has appointed a Cork-based team of its investigators to look into the circumstances of Hennessy's death.

And an inquiry is now under way to determine if he was behind any unsolved abductions or sex crimes on women. Gardaí strongly suspect he had previously attacked women but had never come to their attention for that.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times