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      Woman Freed in Baby Kerry Murder Investigation While Man Still in Detention

      ByMonelo Gabriel

      Mar 24, 2023

      A woman who was arrested on suspicion of murder as part of the investigation into the death of a baby in Ireland almost 40 years ago has been released without charge.

      A man in his 60s who was also arrested remains in custody at a Garda station in the south of the country.

      The body of the five-day-old baby, known as Baby John, was found with multiple stab wounds in a bag on a Co Kerry beach in April 1984.

      The man and woman were arrested in the Munster region on Thursday “in connection with the discovery of the body of a baby boy in White Strand, Caherciveen, County Kerry,” according to a Garda statement.

      The high-profile discovery became known as the “Kerry Babies” case and would lead to a state apology for the treatment of a local woman.

      Joanne Hayes was arrested and charged after Baby John’s body was found in 1984, but the charge was later dropped and a court of inquiry was established to investigate the Gardai’s handling of her case.

      Advances in DNA profiles later confirmed that Ms. Hayes, as she always maintained, was not Baby John’s mother.

      In 2018 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and An Garda Siochana apologized to Ms Hayes.

      In January 2018, An Garda Siochana announced a review into Baby John’s death, and its Kerry Division has since carried out an “extensive” investigation, supported by the Garda Serious Crime Review Team.

      Hundreds of people have been interviewed and more than 560 lines of inquiry have been initiated.

      In September 2018, Baby John’s remains were exhumed and taken to the University Hospital Kerry morgue in Tralee for examination, reburied later that afternoon.

      Baby John is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Caherciveen.

      “The arrests are a significant advance in this investigation in an effort to establish the truth about Baby John’s death in 1984 and bring justice for Baby John,” said lead investigator Superintendent Flor Murphy.

      “I again appeal to the public for any information regarding the death of Baby John in 1984.

      “Anyone who comes forward will be treated with sensitivity and compassion.”

      Anyone with information is asked to contact the Killarney Garda station on 064 667 1160, the confidential Garda line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.


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