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Gardaí still struggling to figure out motive for machete killing of Mikolaj Wilk

Father-of-two Mikolaj Wilk was murdered in Ballincollig, Co Cork earlier this month.

Mikolaj with his wife Elzbieta.
Mikolaj with his wife Elzbieta.
Image: Facebook

GARDAÍ ARE NO closer to solving the brutal murder of father-of-two Mikolaj Wilk in Ballincollig earlier this month despite investigating over a dozen potential motives for his killing.

Mikolaj (35), a popular and well-known businessman, was stabbed to death by a group of four men with machetes. They broke into his home in the Co Cork town in the early hours of Sunday 10 June where they murdered him in front of his wife and children. None of the theories investigated by gardaí to date have returned solid evidence.

Gardaí are attempting to figure out a motive for the vicious attack. Seasoned officers have said that the crime scene was one of the worst they had seen in years on the force.

Since the murder, gardaí have been checking routes out of the country for those they consider potential suspects in the crime. Nobody to fit the profile has been apprehended, however.

Gardaí have probed Mikolaj’s social media profiles and contacts from his phone.

They have also been looking at people he did business with and people he was seen with in the weeks running up to his death, including anyone he may have had a row with, and any potential dealings he could have had with a criminal element in Cork.

Gardaí have investigated reports he may have been in debt to the Russian mafia – however they have so far found nothing in this regard.

A source familiar with the investigation said that there is a fear that the case could run cold if a breakthrough is not made in the coming weeks. Most theories have been checked out, he said, and there is nothing concrete for officers to go on.

There are no suspects but a handful of people of interest in this case. Friends and family of the murdered man have been interviewed but nobody could think of a valid reason as to why he was targeted.

‘Open mind’

Gardaí are keeping an open mind on new theories which they are currently probing. However, they are keeping tight-lipped on any potential new motive.

The investigation has also crossed over to Mikolaj’s native Poland. Police in the Eastern European country have been conducting their own probe and, to date, there is nothing to suggest he was involved in any form of criminality in that country.

Detectives believe the nature of the murder – a sustained attack with machetes for up to 10 minutes – indicates that the reason behind the killing was more than likely personal. This is the view of experienced gardaí who are attempting to build a profile of the killers. Gardaí also recovered a gun from a car which was burnt out close to the murder scene.

The fact the men had access to a firearm and decided not to use it is more evidence for gardaí, albeit circumstantial, that there was a personal motive for the case.

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Mikolaj’s wife Elzbieta suffered serious slash wounds to her arms and hands. Her two children were physically unharmed but are said to be in a deeply distressed state.

The Garda probe will continue with all available resources directed to it.

Superintendent Colm O’Sullivan of Gurranabraher Garda Station said in his latest appeal, issued last week, that:

“We are continuing to appeal to anyone with information or to anyone who may have witnessed this incident, [including] any drivers who may have dash cam footage and travelled in the Maglin, Ballincollig, Ballinora and Waterfall areas between 2am and 5am on 10 June 2018.

“If anyone noticed any suspicious or unusual activities in these areas in the days leading up to the incident, contact Gurranabraher Garda Station on 021- 4946200, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any garda station.”

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