Missing Filipina student found dead in Ireland

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 22 2018 07:56 AM | Updated as of May 23 2018 05:05 AM

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland (2nd UPDATE) - A Filipina college student earlier reported missing was found dead Monday morning after an intensive search in Rathmichael, Co Dublin.

Irish authorities or gardaí discovered the remains of 24-year-old Jastine Valdez near a golf course in Pucks Castle.

An Irishman identified as Mark Hennessy, who was being sought following the victim's disappearance, was shot dead on Sunday after he allegedly pulled a knife on gardaí.

Valdez was last seen by witnesses on Saturday being dragged into a black Nissan Qashqai with plate number 171-D-20419 in Enniskerry, County Wicklow.

Her mobile phone was found near the scene of the alleged abduction.

The victim, an only child of Irish citizens Danilo and Tess Valdez, came to Ireland three years ago.

She was taking up accountancy at the Institute of Technology Carlow and also worked part-time in a restaurant in Bray, County Wicklow.

Gardaí traced the car that reportedly took Valdez to the home of Hennessy.

Hennessy, 40, was a father of two and worked in the construction industry. He had no prior criminal record.

His partner told gardaí that Hennessy didn't arrive home on the night of Valdez' disappearance.

Irish authorities are still piecing together the circumstances surrounding the victim's death.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) expressed its condolences to the victim's family.

“We grieve with the loved ones of Jastine Valdez, someone so young and so full of promise, who was suddenly taken away from them,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said.

“We join the rest of the Filipino Community in Ireland in offering our prayers for Jastine and her family."

He said the Philippine Embassy in London and the Honorary Consulate in Dublin have been in touch with authorities since Saturday evening. 

Philippine Ambassador to London Antonio Lagdameo also expressed his sympathies.

"On behalf of the government, I extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and pray for her eternal repose. And we offer the hand of assistance and support in this very challenging and trying times," he said.

The DFA added that Honorary Consul Mark Congdon will reach out to the family to extend possible assistance.

ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau is also getting in touch with the Valdez family. - Report from Roderick Garcia, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau