Fam­ily’s worst nightmare comes true af­ter fran­tic search ef­fort

Irish Independent - - News - Robin Schiller

AS FAM­I­LIES and walk­ers en­joyed the sun­shine in St Cather­ine’s Park yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, they were obliv­i­ous to the tragedy that was un­fold­ing just a few hun­dred yards away at a derelict farm­house.

In the aban­doned build­ing, lit­tered with rub­bish and its walls scrawled with graf­fiti, the life­less body of Ana Kriegel was dis­cov­ered. This is not how it should have ended for a sen­si­tive and in­tel­li­gent child.

The young girl had been miss­ing for three days. A fran­tic search had been

ini­ti­ated for the pop­u­lar teen, her fam­ily and the search teams were un­aware that her body had been hid­den at the prop­erty for a num­ber of days.

Her fam­ily and loved ones had hoped since Mon­day evening that she would turn up un­harmed.

Ap­peals

A num­ber of pub­lic ap­peals were made, and images of the smil­ing 14-year-old girl were cir­cu­lated across so­cial me­dia in the hope that some­one, any­one had seen Ana alive.

Through­out the days she was miss­ing, con­cerns in­creased as the hours turned into days. For Ana not to con­tact her par­ents for so long was com­pletely out of char­ac­ter.

Who can imag­ine what they were go­ing through?

In­deed, she had come from a lov­ing and car­ing home in the nearby New­town Park es­tate, and had never left for such a long pe­riod be­fore.

This prompted gar­daí to im­me­di­ately call in sup­port for the search, in­clud­ing the Civil Defence, as the dis­ap­pear­ance was im­me­di­ately taken with the ut­most se­ri­ous­ness.

Trag­i­cally, shortly af­ter 1pm yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, her fam­ily’s worst night­mares were re­alised.

Ana, de­scribed as a “strik­ing young girl”, was found at the premises near the Clonee Road, and her fam­ily were im­me­di­ately no­ti­fied.

Se­nior in­ves­ti­ga­tors were called, and it wasn’t long be­fore grave sus­pi­cions were raised that Ana’s promis­ing life had come to a vi­o­lent end.

The scene was sealed-off and a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion launched, and as the hours passed and more ex­am­i­na­tions car­ried out, the fears that Ana had been mur­dered were con­firmed.

The com­mu­nity in Leixlip was last night try­ing to make sense of the unimag­in­able tragedy that had be­fallen the Kil­dare par­ish.

The dance school of which she was a mem­ber can­celled its classes, as griev­ing mem­bers at­tempted to come to terms with the tragedy.

Dis­tressed

Supt John Gor­don, who is over­see­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, summed up the pain. He said: “As you can imag­ine at this time [her fam­ily] are re­ceiv­ing a lot of sup­port from An Garda Síochána but they are ex­tremely dis­tressed and they are also look­ing for the pub­lic as­sis­tance, and pri­vacy at his time as well.”

A Garda crime scene in­ves­ti­ga­tor at the derelict house where the body of Ana Kriegel was found yes­ter­day. Photo: Damien Eagers

Left: Ana Kriegel; In­set: the en­trance to St Cather­ine’s Park, near where her body was found. Right: State Pathol­o­gist Marie Cas­sidy speaks to a de­tec­tive at the scene at Clonee Road. Pho­tos: Damien Eagers and Gerry Mooney

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