Gardaí have indicated they are keeping an open mind about the disappearance of two men from Dublin last week, with no forensic or other evidence to support the belief they have been killed.
It is almost a week since Eoin O'Connor (32) and Anthony Keegan (33) have been seen alive and concern for their wellbeing has been growing by the day.
The men, both of whom are known to gardaí, disappeared after going to meet someone in Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, in a prearranged meeting on Tuesday evening.
While serious concerns remain for their safety, it is understood that, with no further information coming to light and no signs of blood or a struggle in their car, which was discovered on Friday, gardaí are now keeping an open mind as to what may have happened.
A tip-off phoned in to gardaí regarding their whereabouts last week failed to yield results.
Search in Cavan
One possibility that must be explored in cases such as this is that, for some reason, the men could have "disappeared" of their own volition. However, while such questions were being asked about their whereabouts, efforts to find them were continuing on the ground in Co Cavan yesterday, with searches in farmland and ditches.
Mr O’Connor and Mr Keegan, both from the Coolock area of north Dublin, had been reported missing by concerned family members last week.
Their dark grey Ford Focus was located in a car park beside Lough Owel just outside Mullingar in Co Westmeath.
The discovery of the car led to a significant Garda search of the area, including by the diving unit, although nothing was recovered.
Gardaí then focused their attention on attempting to discover the car’s movements. A technical examination of the vehicle failed to yield any significant clues.
Lough Owel is a local beauty spot and is popular with swimmers. The deep water had led to concerns the men may have been found in the lake, and a careful search of the water was watched by a group of onlookers thought to be family and friends.
The focus of the operation has now reverted to Co Cavan, although the sheer expanse of countryside was making it a difficult task yesterday without any further information.
Gardaí have continued to appeal for the public’s help, asking anyone who might be of assistance to contact Ballymun Garda station on 01-6664400, the Garda confidential phone line on 1800-666111 or any Garda station.