GARDAI investigating the disappearance of 18-year-old Deirdre Jacob 20 years ago have upgraded the case to a murder investigation.
Deirdre Jacob was last seen at around 3pm on 28 July 1998 as she made her way to her home in Newbridge, Co. Kildare.
She was carrying a black canvas bag with a yellow Caterpillar logo at the time.
The bag has never been found.
Recently, Gardai have received new information which has let them to believe that she was murdered on the day she disappeared or in the following days.
The case has been reviewed in detail over the past year by gardaí from Kildare and from the Serious Crime Review Team.
Investigators are following a number of lines of inquiry and say progress is being made.
Last month, Deirdre’s family made an appeal for information, on the 20th anniversary of her disappearance.
Speaking at Naas Garda Station to announce the development of the case, Chief Superintendent Brian Sutton said it was gardaí’s belief that Deirdre was killed on or shortly after the day she went missing.
He said: “Deirdre Jacob was 18 years of age when she was last seen on 28 July 1998 as she walked to her home in Newbridge, Co Kildare.
“She was a young woman starting off her life, who had just completed one year at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London.
“Deirdre had enjoyed her life in London and was looking forward to returning to college that September when her life was taken away on or after the 28 July 1998.
“This 20-year-old investigation has been reviewed in detail by gardaí from Kildare and from the Serious Crime Review Team over the last 12 months.”
He appealed to anyone with information to come forward "particularly persons who have not come forward in the past".