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Front door key the clue which led to identification of man found dead in 2014

The Polish national’s identity was confirmed after new information came to light.

A facial reconstruction released by gardaí in an earlier appeal for information.
A facial reconstruction released by gardaí in an earlier appeal for information.
Image: Gardaí

GARDAÍ HAVE ESTABLISHED the identity of a man whose body was discovered in Galway woodlands in 2014. 

Officers said the man has been identified as a Polish national after new information came to light in recent weeks.
 
The man was found in the coastal area of Rusheen Bay Woods by a man walking his dog in September 2014. No foul play was suspected in the man’s death and gardaí believed his passing was a personal tragedy. He had very few items in his possession, making it more difficult to obtain his identity. 

Gardaí said fingerprinting and dental examinations were conducted, while a facial reconstruction was also carried out by Dr Christopher Rynn from the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee, in Scotland.

A garda spokesman said: “Among the man’s few possessions when located, was a single silver key with EPA inscribed on it, Sterling and Euro currency, as well as a Canadian/USA watch and clothing believed to have been bought in the United States/Canada. It was the key which resulted in the unlocking the mystery surrounding this man’s identity.”

In recent weeks two Polish people contacted Gardaí after only becoming aware of the previous appeals.
 
They informed officers that a man had been living with them in a house in Galway in late September 2014 and had advised them to rent his room out after a certain period of time if he did not return.

“Since that time the men had changed the locks in their home, but had retained the old locking mechanism. Gardaí were able to confirm that the key which had been found on the deceased man was a match to this locking mechanism”, the spokesman added.
 
This led to a definite line of enquiry as to the person’s identity, and this past week a DNA comparison was conducted via Interpol in Poland, confirming the man to be a Polish national.

Superintendent Patrick McHugh of Salthill Garda Station said: “Great credit is due to the dedicated Gardaí who have been working this case to establish the identity of this man since 2014. The circumstances of this case are both sad and tragic.

“The family and An Garda Síochána are grateful to the individuals who came forward to provide us with the key to solving this matter. Taking the crucial step of contacting the Gardaí has ensured that this man’s family are now aware of the whereabouts of their loved one”.

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