I hadn't been living in Ireland all that long when Annie McCarrick disappeared in March 1993. McCarrick was from Long Island and had moved to Ireland only a couple of months before she went missing, last seen heading towards a location in the hills in Wicklow.

No trace of her was ever found. Now her name and face are back in the news because the chief suspect in her disappearance is due to be released from prison shortly.

Shortly after she disappeared McCarrick's face was on posters all over Dublin. Her smiling face was on every street corner {photo above was on those posters}. Whenever I saw one of those posters it hit home that an American had come to live in Ireland and that something awful had happened to her.

There weren't all that many Americans living here at the time and the idea that one of us had vanished and was probably murdered was hard to accept. There were so few of us Americans here at that time that whenever you ran into another it was fun, like you'd found a friend. For that reason McCarrick was like a friend who I never got to meet. It frustrated me that there was nothing I could do to help find her.

I always felt I understood perfectly well how she'd ended up in trouble. When I first came here as a student from New York in the mid 1980s I just remember the sense that Dublin was so safe. Sure there was petty crime, but I felt like violent crime didn't exist here, which wasn't far wrong when compared with New York at the time.

I remember thinking that McCarrick probably felt the same way, as if nothing could happen to her. She probably took chances here that she would never have dreamed of taking if she was home. And it cost her life.

I guess that's possibly why McCarrick's face and name have stuck with me for the past 17 years. She was probably doing as I had done. But I wasn't a pretty young girl. I never felt vulnerable here and I guess I wasn't, but she was.