THREE people have been arrested in relation to the disappearance and murder of Willie Maughan and Anastasija Varslavanne in April 2015.
William and Anastasjia were reported missing from Laytown, Co. Meath, in April 2015 and in September 2016 this case was reclassified as a murder investigation.
Two men in their 50s and 60s and a woman in her 40s are currently detained in garda stations in Meath and Dublin.
Searches are ongoing in Meath this morning.
Officers believe the couple — who were last seen on April 14, 2015 — were murdered before their bodies were buried in a shallow grave.
Although a number of searches were undertaken over the last five years, their remains were never found.
In April, a man was arrested and quizzed about double murder.
The suspect, who is in his 50s and originally from England, was lifted by investigators from Ashborne Garda Station at a house in Co Meath on April 28.
Earlier this year, the traumatised dad of murdered Willie said that his “son was dismembered, like Keane Mulready Woods”.
And Joe Maughan believes the remains of his son and Ana may have been moved from the site where the couple were butchered in Co Meath to the Wicklow Mountains.
The couple — who were expecting their first child at the time of their disappearance — were abducted, tortured and murdered on April 14, 2015.
Gardai believe the pair were butchered because their killers were afraid of Willie coming forward with information about their involvement in serious organised crime.
Joe and his family, including his wife Nell and their children Tina, Anne Marie, Sabrina, Shirley and Martin, have fought a five-year campaign to recover the remains of the couple.
Joe has now passed his information to investigating gardai.
FIGHT FOR JUSTICE
Joe said: “I am of the firm belief that William and Ana were beaten to death and then dismembered, to prevent anyone from establishing what happened to them.
“I was told in the past that we were once close to finding them when we were out searching for them and that’s why I think their remains were moved.
“All we have ever wanted over the last five years is to find them and if people have specific information about where they are then we are pleading with them to come forward.
“It’s absolutely horrendous to think of the terrible death William and Ana experienced and no-one deserves to be treated like this.
“All I am asking for is for someone to finally stand up and tell me where they are before God calls me. My family have experienced five years of hell and we just want them home.”
As part of our latest revelations on one of the most gruesome double murders in Ireland, we also reveal for the first time of Joe’s belief 21-year-old Ana may have been raped by one of Price’s mob.
The distraught dad added: “People have to remember that we are dealing with a gang who place no value on humanity — life means nothing to them.
“I also believe that my son and his partner were tortured before they were butchered in the most horrific manner and there may also have been people who witnessed this.
“I have also been told that William’s partner may have been raped by these animals and this shows you the type of people were are dealing with.
“Despite everything we have been through these people should realise that I won’t stop fighting for justice. People like Price and his gang are nothing but cowards.”
Since the gruesome murders, Joe’s family have also been subjected to a campaign of terror by his son’s evil killers.
CAMPAIGN OF TERROR
This has included death threats being issued across social media platforms, his son Bobby’s grave being dug up and shots being fired at them as they were out searching for the missing couple.
On one occasion, senior members of the gang also called to an associate of Joe’s warning him not to speak to the gardai or the media.
And the most serious form of intimidation happened in October 2015 when a pipe bomb was thrown into the home of Joe’s daughter Tina.
Joe’s other daughter Anne-Marie has also been threatened over the last five years.
Tina said: “If that bomb had come through my window my son would have been killed.
“The bomb destroyed my car and the only reason they came for me was because of our family’s campaign to find Willie and Ana.”
‘NO ONE DESERVES THIS’
Despite the campaign of intimidation, no-one has ever been arrested or brought before the courts.
Mum-of-three Anne Marie also told of her torment. She said: “Our parents are slowly dying in front of us. They’re just clinging on at the moment.
“I have been threatened by people I don’t even know and the only thing we have left is hope.
“Willie was my mum’s child and we have to look at her pain every day. We just pray they didn’t suffer because no human being deserves this.
“We haven’t had the chance to say goodbye to Willie and Ana and how do you grieve for something you can’t see?”
A garda spokesman said today: “Gardaí investigating the disappearance and murder of William Maughan and Anastasija Varslavanne in April 2015 have today, 8th July 2020, arrested three persons.
“William and Anastasjia were reported missing from Laytown, Co. Meath, in April 2015 and in September 2016 this case was reclassified as a murder investigation.
“Two men, aged in their 50s and 60s, and one woman, aged in her 40s, are currently detained at Garda Stations in counties Meath and Dublin under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act 1939.
“There are searches ongoing at a location in Co. Meath this morning.
“Gardaí are continuing to appeal to anyone with information relating to this investigation to contact them at Ashbourne Garda Station on 01 801 0600 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.”