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Detailed information from 'key witness' sparks 40-acre hunt for missing Tina Satchwell

The 46-year-old has been missing for nearly one year.

A TEAM OF up to 50 officers are combing through woodlands after gardaí received a credible tip-off from a member of the public relating to the disappearance of missing woman Tina Satchwell.

It is nearly a year since Tina (46) disappeared from her home in Youghal, Cork. Numerous appeals to trace her whereabouts have been unsuccessful. Both her family and gardaí have repeatedly expressed their concern over her disappearance.

Yesterday morning, Superintendent Colm Noonan of Midleton Garda Station announced that a large team of officers will carry out a 24/7 operation at the site at Mitchel’s Wood in the Castlemartyr area of Cork – less than 20 minutes from Youghal.

In recent days, gardaí have received information leading them to the parkland. It is believed that a person acting suspiciously was spotted exiting the woods on the night Satchwell was supposed to have gone missing.

Gardaí believe this account to be credible and are now focusing their attention on the Castlemartyr area. Nearby CCTV, where available, is being reviewed. In some cases, the CCTV from the night may have been overwritten by newer files due to the length of time which has elapsed.

While senior gardaí would not comment on the logistics of the search, it is understood officers will first focus on an area of grassland which was closest to where the witness alleges they saw a person leaving the woodlands. This is an area of between four and six acres in size.

The entire search is expected to take between two and three weeks depending on the weather. The witness is understood to have come forward last week but the recent poor weather conditions prevented officers from beginning the search.

Dog units are also being deployed across the 40-acre site.

Superintendent Noonan said: “Today we are conducting a search at Mitchel’s Wood in Bridgetown, Castlemartyr. We are looking for evidence in relation to Tina’s disappearance and we have for the purposes of the search restricted access to this area.

“I would like members of the public who have any information in relation to activity here at Mitchel’s Wood during March 2017 to contact the gardaí.”

We are in regular contact with the Satchwell family and they have been informed of this search operation today. You will appreciate that this is a very stressful time for them and I would urge that they be afforded privacy at this time.

Tina Satchwell was last seen at her home in Youghal on 20 March 2017. She was reported missing four days later by her husband Richard.

Her husband has given a number of interviews to the press since his wife disappeared.

Richard Satchwell said that in the months leading up to her disappearance, she was troubled by something. He said he believes she made the decision to leave.

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satch Richard Satchwell. Source: RTE Prime Time

“She obviously felt she needed a break, to get her thoughts together, to get her head straight,” he told Prime Time last year.

“She knew she was depressed and one thing she always said is she didn’t want to end up on antidepressants. And I personally think she went away to sort her own feelings out.

I know that leading up to her going, the frequency of our long conversations had altered somewhat. The bit I don’t get is her not saying she’s struggling.

Richard Satchwell told RTÉ that he doesn’t believe that his wife is dead and that she must have had help going missing.

Making an appeal for her to come home, Richard said: “I just want you to get in touch, to let people know that you’re alright and if you need time on your own, fair enough.”

Richard Satchwell said that he believes that there is somebody that knows where his wife is.

“She didn’t get up and leave without some sort of help from somebody,” he said.

Somebody had to give her a helping hand somewhere, you can’t just get up and disappear like this with no help from somebody.

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Read: Husband of missing Tina Satchwell believes she had ‘helping hand’ in disappearance

Read: Garda searches of Youghal Port for missing woman Tina Satchwell conclude for the day

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