French police have contacted Ireland as the father and son shot dead and dumped in Perpignan last November are believed to be Irish.
The father and son were found, shot in the head, three kilometers apart, near the towns of Millas and Corneilla-la-Riviere. They were discovered by a local farmer and a hunter. Despite an extensive investigation involving Interpol and a dedicated unit based in Montpellier, police have not been able to identify them.
The French police decided to contact the authorities in Ireland when a staff member from a campsite nearby recognized the father and son.
Staff Sgt François Recouly of Montpellier gendarmerie, who is leading the investigation said "An individual who works on a camp site believes that in June 2010, she received 50 Irish people who belonged to a group of Irish bitumeurs."
Speaking to the Irish Times he said "She thinks she recognizes the father and son as having been part of that group of 50 people.”
Bitumeurs are travelling scammers who offer to re-lay the tarmac on private driveways but use a shoddy mix that quickly deteriorates.
The Irish Independent has reported that they are part of a Traveler group from Rathkeale, County Limerick. It is believed that a group of them were traveling in the area offering to tarmacadam. However the Irish police have not had any reports of travelers missing from that area. Irish police are currently taking the view that they are not Irish.
For the past five months the police in France have been searching for the identity of the pair known only as X and Y. They are not French as their no matches could be found in the national missing person's database. Their clothes come from Germany and at one point it was also believed that they could be a pair who disappeared in Sicily in 2007.
DNA tests have confirmed that they are father and son. The father is thought to be aged between 50 and 60-years-old, balding and about 1.71 meters in height. The son was 35 to 40-years-old and 1.79 meters tall with red hear. It appears that it had been dyed chestnut brown.
Their bodies were wrapped in rugs, placed in black plastic sacks and sealed with ducktape. One was found in a field and the other in a patch of wasteland.
Recouly said he believes they were not resident in the area. He said "I think they were simply dumped [there]… We’re not even in a position to say whether they were killed in France or abroad. We have been working constantly with Interpol and Europol but so far the DNA and fingerprint searches have not turned up anything.”
French police have also given Irish police images of the victims reconstructed faces in the hopes that they can identify the man and his son.
The Irish Independent has reported that they are part of a Traveler group from Rathkeale, County Limerick.
It is believed that a group of them were traveling in the area offering to tarmacadam. However the Irish police have not had any reports of travelers missing from that area. Irish police are currently taking the view that they are not Irish.
French police believe unusual dental work could hold the key to identifying the older victim.
"We have noticed that the father had a very particular dental bridge," one senior French officer said.
"Two of the teeth were made of a gold alloy -- gold bound to ceramic -- something that would have been quite costly."
The two men were found separately on wasteland 3km away from each other near the small town of Millas, which is located close to the city of Perpignan on November 25 last.
The father had been shot once in the head at close range while his son had been shot twice in the head.