Irish police may have made a major breakthrough in their bid to find three missing women – including Irish American Annie McCarrick – feared to be victims of convicted rapist Larry Murphy.
Officers are currently digging up the concrete base of a remote hunter’s cabin near Murphy’s Wicklow home.
A forensic scientist pointed the police towards the cabin after discovering evidence that Murphy may have used it if he had succeeded in his attempts to kill a woman before she was rescued by two hunters in February, 2000.
Murphy abducted the young woman in Carlow and drove her to the Wicklow mountains where he repeatedly raped her. Reports say he had bundled her into his car and intended to kill her when the hunters came across him near the cabin.
Now released, Murphy served 10 and a half years of a 15 year sentence for the crime.
Officers investigating the case have always believed that Murphy had a remote location lined up to bury his victim.
The Irish Examiner reports that the hunting cabin now being searched is 800 metres from the scene of the rape and about five miles from Murphy’s Baltinglass home.
Murphy has previously been questioned about the disappearance of three women - Jo Jo Dullard, Deirdre Jacob and Annie McCarrick – in the area between 1993 and 1998.
Detectives in charge of Operation Trace believe Murphy is linked to the disappearance of McCarrick, the 26-year-old from New York who returned to live in Ireland after her time there as a student.
She was last seen in the company of an unidentified man at a famous tourist pub in the Wicklow village of Enniskerry on March 26th, 1993.
McCarrick’s case is one of those under investigation as part of Operation Trace. Officers have confirmed that the current Wicklow search is linked to Murphy, now believed to be living in Holland after his release.
“There is information coming in very regularly regarding Operation Trace,” a source told the Irish Examiner. “This is just one of a number of searches. The majority don’t turn up anything; some do.”
Barry Cummins, author of Missing Without a Trace in Ireland, said people wondered where Murphy was going to bring his rape victim.
“One of the questions was what he intended to do with the body had he succeeded in murdering her, which by his own admission he had intended,” he told the paper.
“Where was he going next with the body in the boot of the car? Where was he bringing her?”