Spanish police investigating the murder of three schoolgirls in 1992 have asked for DNA examination of a human skull taken from the sea by fishermen off Baltimore, west Cork, in the mid-1990s.
The suspect is known to have stowed away on a ship from Spain but jumped off before it arrived in Dublin in March 1993. He was never traced.
The skull is held in University College Cork where it was examined to try and identify it. It was determined to be the skull of a man aged between 20 and 40 and has remaining teeth. It was checked against the identities of two Irish men and a German national who were missing in the sea off the west coast at around that time but did not match.
Spanish police have now asked that further tests be carried out to see if it could be the remains of Antonio Angles. He has been wanted in Spain since November 1992 in connection with the murder of three teenage girls who were abducted, raped, beaten and shot to death.
Antonia Gomez (15), Miriam Garcia (14) and Desiree Hernandez (14), were murdered as they set off together to a disco in countryside near Valencia.
Their bodies were discovered the following spring when water washed away the side of a hill exposing their shallow grave. Police found a piece of paper with the name of Angles's brother, Enrique, on it.
Enrique Angles and another man, Miguel Ricart, were arrested, but Antonio Angles disappeared. Ricart subsequently made a statement to police implicating Antonio Angles as the principal mover in the killing of the girls.
Angles, who was 25 and had a history of violent behaviour, was found stowing away on board the City of Plymouth before it left Bilbao in early March 1993. He stole a life-raft from the boat and tried to escape to the French coast but was quickly spotted by a French coastguard craft and returned to the City of Plymouth where he was locked in a cabin.
When the ship arrived in Dublin Port, it was discovered he had slipped out of the port hole in the cabin. It was feared he had done this as the ship was close to docking in Dublin and there was a search by gardai at the time. He was never traced.
In re-examining the case, Spanish police are believed to have learned of the unidentified skull and have sought DNA testing to see if they can link it to Angles. DNA testing was not sufficiently advanced or easily available at the time of the discovery.
Gardai confirmed that the Spanish police had been in touch and had asked for the examination, which could take months to complete. There is also no guarantee that the skull will be that of Angles, even if DNA testing is successful.