Detectives turn to UK to find parents of baby found stabbed on Irish beach in 1984

Detectives turn to UK to find parents of baby found stabbed on Irish beach in 1984

DETECTIVES have turned to a UK DNA database in an effort to trace the parents of a baby found stabbed on an Irish beach in 1984, it has emerged. 

Gardaí in the Republic are investigating whether one of the parents of a baby boy found stabbed to death in Kerry in 1984 is living in Northern Ireland.

The baby, named 'Baby John,' was found face down with 28 stab wounds and a spinal injury on White Strand beach in Caherciveen in west Kerry on April 14 1984 by a jogger.

Gardaí believe he was approximately five days old when he was killed.

The movement of a number of people between Kerry and Northern Ireland in 1983/84 has prompted gardaí to examine the British DNA database for any potential link to the 'Kerry Baby' investigation, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

The Irish database only has 15,000 DNA samples, in comparison with six million samples on the UK and Northern Ireland databases.

Cross-references of the Irish DNA database have so far failed to yield any matches to the sample taken from the murdered baby in 1984.

Detectives are aware a significant number of people moved between Kerry and Northern Ireland in the mid-1980s, and similar movements between Kerry and the rest of the UK now make an examination of the London database potentially critical.

If Baby John's mother or father had any relatives on the DNA database for Northern Ireland, England, Scotland or Wales, it will immediately trigger a cross-referencing 'hit.'

The DNA profile was obtained from a tissue sample taken from Baby John by former Irish State pathologist Dr John Harbison as part of the post-mortem examination in 1984.

This sample has undergone a series of tests, and gardaí now have a full DNA profile of the infant they can cross-reference with other samples in an effort to establish a familial link.

Gardai now believe the vast and detailed UK DNA database could deliver the breakthrough they need.

"Every avenue for the investigation is now being looked at," a senior source told the paper.

The UK's DNA database is one of the most extensive in the world, with samples taken under far wider circumstances than is the case in the Republic, where DNA samples are only taken in a number of specific instances.

The British database increases by between 30,000 and 40,000 samples each month, with 60 per cent of DNA samples obtained from a UK crime scene can now be linked to a person.

DNA sampling is now so advanced that even distant sixth and seventh cousins can be detected through genetic 'links.'