Over 70 calls to Gardaí on Deirdre Jacob murder case since appeal on 20th anniversary of Newbridge woman's disappearance

Gardai working on 1998 disappearance of Kildare student have "torn the case apart"

Paula Campbell

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Paula Campbell

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paula@leinsterleader.ie

Over 70 calls on Deirdre Jacob murder case since appeal to mark 20th anniversary of Newbridge woman's disappearance

CCTV which captured Deirdre (circled) in Newbridge on the day of her disappearance has been rereleased by Gardaí

Over 70 new calls have been made to Gardaí since an appeal was made on the 20th anniversary of the disappearance of young Newbridge woman Deirdre Jacob in July 1998.

Inspector Mel Smyth of Kildare Garda Station said a review team has “torn the case apart and put it back again”.

Last week, the hunt for the Newbridge teenager was reclassified as a murder investigation. Her dad Michael Jacob pleaded, for Deirdre’s sake, for anyone with information to come forward.

The investigation is headquartered at Kildare town Garda Station.

“We’re doing a lot of work and we have got a lot of phone calls from people who have never come forward before. We are making progress with the 20 year old investigation. We have had over 70 calls since the 20th anniversary appeal and we would like to thank people who have contacted us to date,” said Inspector Smyth.

Deirdre Jacob

Inspector Smyth said that there has been “an awful lot of speculation” on whether there is a chief suspect in connection with Deirdre Jacob’s murder inquiry.

There has been widespread media coverage linking her disappearance to one well-known, and formerly Leinster-based sexual predator in particular.

“It is just that — speculation. We have done a complete revamp of a 20 year old investigation and basically we have torn it apart and put it back together again. We identified a new line of inquiry to reclassify it as a murder investigation,” he added.

Meanwhile, Gardaí last week rereleased the last-known CCTV footage of Deirdre Jacob as they reclassified their investigation from a missing persons to a murder inquiry. The footage, captured on Newbridge's Main Street on the day she vanished, shows the teenager wearing dark-coloured clothing and white footwear, carrying her CAT-branded bag over her shoulder.

If you have any information on the disappearance of Deirdre Jacob, please contact Newbridge Garda Station 045 431212, Crimestoppers on 1800250025 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111.