Attracta sniffer dog joins hunt for new killer

30 October 2006
Belfast Telegraph
Brendan McDaid

The sniffer dog that helped detectives nail Attracta Harron's killer has assisted gardai probing the horrific killing of Cork woman Meg Walsh, it has emerged.

Six-year-old English springer spaniel Eddie from South Yorkshire Police and his female companion Keela have formed part of a specialist dog team hunting for clues after the 35-year-old's badly decomposed body was found floating in Waterford Quays on October 15.

Ms Walsh's disappearance sparked the largest man-hunt ever mounted in the Republic's south east after members of the public joined detectives and garda in their search when the mother-of-one failed to show up for her work on October 2.

Following the discovery of Ms Walsh's body, police in South Yorkshire were asked to bring Keela and Eddie, who has also been involved in searches for 15-year-old Arlene Arkinson, to the Republic.

Eddie helped police put evil killer Trevor Hamilton behind bars earlier this year after the victim recovery dog found 63-year-old Attracta Harron's blood on the 23-year-old murderer's burned-out Hyundai.

Eddie also found her body in a shallow grave in April 2003.

Martin Grime, who handles both Eddie and Keela, said today: "Obviously the body had been found already, so we went into investigative mode and the dogs were brought to Waterford and Dublin.

"Eddie would be tasked to tell us where the body had been before it was found and would indicate any clothing that would have come into contact with the body.

"Keela was there to find any blood traces.

"We cannot comment on whether the dogs found anything as the investigation is still ongoing."

In June this year, both dogs were taken to an unspecified location in the USA to help locate a two-year-old girl who has disappeared from her home.

Eddie led detectives to a creek beside an American Civil War graveyard which was subsequently drained.

Investigations in this case are also ongoing.

The dogs' trip to the US occurred shortly after Eddie returned to Ulster earlier this year for a third time to help in the hunt for missing Arlene Arkinson.

The Tyrone teenager went missing after leaving a disco in Bundoran, Co Donegal, on August 13, 1994.

Mr Grime said today: "We are now waiting to here about the Arlene Arkinson case. A review on that is due shortly. We don't give up."

A garda spokeswoman said today that investigations into the death of Ms Walsh were ongoing.

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