Gardaí to search woodland as part of probe into murders of Deirdre Jacob and Jo Jo Dullard
10th October 2021
The major operation will take place close to Usk Little near the county border with Wicklow and will hope to recover crucial evidence related to missing women Deirdre Jacob and Jo Jo Dullard.
Detectives do not believe the murders of the two young women are directly linked but are carrying out the searches as part of both inquiries.
Independent.ie has learned that “significant” information was recently passed to the team investigating the murder of Ms Jacob.
This relates to suspicious activity in the wooded area near the Kildare/Wicklow border at the time of her disappearance.
Sources said the searches hope to uncover significant evidence linked to Ms Jacob who was last seen in the nearby town of Newbridge over 21 years ago.
While the information relates to Deirdre Jacob’s disappearance, gardaí believe evidence connected to missing Jo Jo Dullard may also be uncovered due to the close proximity of where she was last sighted. She was last seen only a short distance away in the town of Moone almost 26 years ago.
Both investigations have been upgraded to murder inquiries in recent years after the cases were reviewed by the Garda’s ‘Cold Case’ unit.
A senior source said: “This search is being carried out as a result of credible information received.
“The intelligence relates to suspicious activity in the area at the time of the disappearance but this was only passed on recently.”
Gardaí are satisfied that the two murders were carried out by different people and are not directly connected.
Garda Headquarters announced details of the searches today relating to what they said were “investigations into the disappearance of women in the Leinster area”.
Notorious rapist Larry Murphy remains the chief suspect in the murder of Ms Jacob (18) who was last seen near her home in Newbridge on July 28, 1998.
The last sighting of her was from CCTV footage at an Irish Permanent office on the town’s Main Street at around 3pm.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is currently awaiting the review of an extensive file, sent to a specialist barrister, on whether charges will be preferred against Murphy.
He initially became of person of interest in the investigation after it emerged that he had visited a shop owned by Ms Jacob’s grandmother prior to the disappearance.
Detectives travelled to Britain in 2018 and with the assistance of the London Metropolitan police attempted to interview Murphy, who refused to answer any questions.
He was previously convicted of kidnapping, repeatedly raping and attempting to murder a young woman in the nearby Wicklow Mountains on February 11, 2000.
The disappearance of Ms Dullard was upgraded to murder last year following inquiries by the Garda’s Serious Crime Review Team (SCRT).
Ms Dullard was 21-years-old when she disappeared without a trace from Moone, Co Kildare, on November 9, 1995.
She had missed her bus home and had to take an indirect bus to Naas, before hitching two lifts to Moone.
Later that day the young woman was on the phone to a friend from a phonebox to notify her of her whereabouts, when a car pulled up for Ms Dullard. She has not been seen since.
Both of the murder inquiries are being led by local detectives with assistance from the SCRT who specialise in cold case investigations.