THE FAMILY of a young woman, missing for 17 years, has expressed its hope that new evidence discovered by them, could finally bring closure to the case.
19-year-old Fiona Sinnott disappeared following a night out with friends on February 9, 1998. Her disappearance was not reported until over a week later. Despite an extensive investigation, arrests and interviews, there are still no definitive answers as to what happened to the young mother.
But now the family says that it has uncovered new evidence, with the assistance of Trace Missing Persons Ireland, which they hope will shed new light on Fiona’s disappearance.
Fiona’s cousin, Gina Sinnott told this newspaper: “We were acting on intelligence that came to us through our Facebook page. I had met Joe Blake of Trace Missing Persons Ireland about four years ago and asked him would he come up and search with us.”
Mr. Blake, a qualified trainer of police dogs and founder of Trace Missing Persons Ireland, made two trips to Wexford from Cork to help search an area which was highlighted by the person who gave the information. He brought with him a cadaver dog (one which could detect human bone) and a forensic detection dog.
He explained that, on the second trip, the dogs hit upon a particular location in the search area and hair was discovered. He believed the find was a “very, very positive breakthrough”.
Ms. Sinnott said the family had gone to the area with shovels and had dug, in the hope of finding something that might lead to Fiona.
“We found the hair and I brought it to the Garda Station. I was told it would take about seven days for the DNA to come back but we haven’t heard back yet.”
Garda Chief Superintendent John Roche, speaking to this newspaper, confirmed that they had requested analysis on what appeared to be hair that the family had brought to them following a search of an area. They were awaiting the results.[Full, exclusive story in this week’s Echo Newspaper]