AN investigation into the disappearance and presumed murder in Ireland of New Yorker Annie McCarrick more than 15 years ago has been reignited.
Two new suspects have been questioned -– although not detained –- by Gardai (police) in Bray, Co. Wicklow, just a few miles from where the 26-year-old student was last sighted on March 26, 1993, at top tourist haunt Johnnie Fox’s pub in Glencullen, with a mystery man who has never been identified.
The reinvestigation of McCarrick’s disappearance was recommended by a special cold-case review squad set up to examine several unsolved crimes in the Republic.
According to The Irish Times, the new suspects were selected for interview following a detailed review of statements taken when McCarrick disappeared, and also because of more recent information from members of the public.
While both men have been interviewed, they were not formally arrested and questioned under caution. Neither of the suspects has a criminal record.
Their replies will be included in a report to be prepared by Bray Gardai for the cold-case team. The file will be further reviewed and the next stage of the investigation put into action.
Whether the men were questioned on suspicion that they were responsible for McCarrick’s disappearance or because they might have known who did carry out the crime is uncertain.
But investigators still haven’t ruled out another man, convicted rapist Larry Murphy, a 43-year-old carpenter who was jailed for 14 years for the 2000 abduction, rape and attempted murder of a 25-year-old hairdresser.
She was rescued when two poachers intervened as Murphy attempted to strangle her on a remote country pathway in woodland in Co. Carlow after twice raping her.
Although Murphy has never made any admission, cops believe he could be linked to at least three of six unsolved disappearances of women aged between 17 and 34 in a triangle linking Dundalk and Wexford on the East coast with Tullamore in the midlands. All are presumed to have been murdered.
Since Murphy was jailed in 2001 there have been no further mystery disappearances in the triangle. He was known to have been working in Glencullen around the time McCarrick went missing.
When she disappeared, the then U.S. Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith made representations to President Mary Robinson, Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and Minister for Justice Maíre Geoghegan-Quinn.
There followed one of the biggest missing persons investigations ever in Ireland.
However, despite the investigation and an offer of a cash reward for information, nothing has ever emerged as to what happened to McCarrick, who was born and raised in Long Island.
She moved to Ireland in 1987 and studied to be teacher. She went back to the U.S. in 1990 but returned to Ireland in 1993 to settle.
Under the strain of their ordeal her parents, John and Nancy, divorced five years after Annie disappeared.