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Dublin: 17 °C Tuesday 25 June, 2019

How a missing person's case in Louth became an international murder probe spanning three nations

Giedre Raguckaite is presumed dead.

Image: Garda Press

INTERNATIONAL POLICE BASED in three countries are helping to investigate the murder of Giedre Raguckaite whose body, gardáí believe, has been dumped somewhere along the Louth/Meath border. 

Gardaí had first started a missing person’s case after Giedre (29) was last seen at a house in the Laytown area of Meath at around 11pm on 29 May.

Despite last being seen in May - Raguckaite made a phone call to her father a few days later to wish him a happy Father’s Day. 

That’s the last contact anyone ever had with Giedre.

Last month, gardaí said they had upgraded their investigation to one of murder. Earlier this week, they said they had received intelligence from a number of sources about Giedre’s death and, more importantly, about her killers. 

However, gardaí had been working in the background on this case for five months – liaising with their Lithuanian counterparts as well as police in England – especially those based in Norfolk – an area Giedre lived in prior to her moving to Louth. 

Her reasoning for moving to Ireland has not yet become clear. She did not have a job lined up and ended up working for a clothing charity collection company to get by. 

But investigators believe that the break up of her relationship is what caused her to fall in with a bad crowd – a group which included some well-known Lithuanian criminals. 

These people are known to gardai and are suspected of being part of a criminal organisation which runs prostitution and drugs across large parts of the country.

Officers are in regular contact with their Lithuanian counterparts as well as Interpol and the UK police. 

Giedre’s family members have said that they believe her to be dead and now want her killers to be brought to justice.

The prime suspects in the woman’s murder are two well-known Lithuanian men who are involved in organised crime. 

They operate a number of drug dealing rings as well as several brothels in the area. While gardaí currently have no evidence to suggest that Giedre was forced into prostitution or that she was trafficked, they are probing if her reluctance to enter the sex trade is what resulted in her death. 

Forensic teams have been combing a property in Laytown in Meath – a place where Giedre was allegedly raped and assaulted before being removed, unconscious, and driven to an area where her body was dumped. 

Gardai have received detailed intelligence from a number of people who claim they know what happened that night. It is not known if she died at the house or was brought to another location where she was killed and then dumped. 

Officers have two main suspects and a number of people of interest in this case. They are working with Lithuanian police to build a profile of these men. One of them is already in prison in Ireland and will be formally interviewed about Giedre’s disappearance in the coming days. 

The other man has gone to ground and gardai are asking UK and Lithuanian police to inform them if he has arrived into either of their jurisdictions. However, it is thought that he is still in Ireland. 

Giedre’s family have spoken out about her disappearance and they too believe she has been killed. 

Her friend Gedvile Hibner has been using social media to release statements from her family. 

In her latest post, she wrote that she believes that she was murdered by a criminal element and that she had fallen in with a rough crowd following a bad break up. 

She thanked the police in Ireland and Lithuania and described how upset she was to hear that a number of Lithuanian people are involved in criminality. 

“Giedre was chatty, highly-intelligent, a leader, gained higher education in a short time, perfectly learned English. She was never afraid of anything. She was a very attractive girl but the photos didn’t do her justice. 

“After mother’s death, she just ran away from Lithuania. Giedrė very much survived, suffered.”

Gardai are continuing to appeal for any information – especially from those who may have seen her enter the house in Laytown. 

The family who are renting the house are not involved in the case. They are being treated as witnesses, and Gardaí have asked that the media and public respect their privacy.

Giedre stayed at a number of addresses in Dundalk after her arrival in Ireland from England last April.

Her last known address was at a house on College Heights in Dundalk. She moved out of the property on 23 May and it is not known where she stayed between then and 29 May, although Gardaí say she may have been with friends. 

The last confirmed contact she had was with her father – who lives in Lithuania – by phone at 6.35pm in early June.

As part of the appeal gardaí are seeking assistance from the public, and the Lithuanian community in particular, for details on:

  • Anyone who provided accommodation – temporary or otherwise – for Giedre since 23 May, no matter how short the stay.
  • Anyone who has seen her on or since 29 May.
  • Anyone who has any information surrounding her disappearance on 29 May.

Gardaí urged those who can help to contact Dundalk Garda Station on 042 938 8400, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

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