THE sister of a missing mother-of-one has pleaded with gardaí to team up with specialist counterparts in Britain in a fresh bid to enhance grainy CCTV footage that she believes could identify her younger sibling's abductor.
Esra Uyrun was last seen leaving her home in Clondalkin, west Dublin, on the morning of February 23, 2011.
Her family believes the 38-year-old was abducted at some point between the time she set off from her home and the discovery of her car in Bray, Co. Wicklow, later that morning.
Although the vehicle, a grey Renault Twingo, was captured on CCTV driving toward a car park in the seaside town, a previous bid to enhance the blurry video and identify the mystery driver — whom the family believes to be Esras's abductor — was unsuccessful.
However, Berna Fidan, Esra's heartbroken older sister, says she is convinced that the technology now exists to digitally enhance that blurry image - a development she believes could finally solve the puzzling case.
The London-based 57-year-old has spent the past week in Ireland, searching for clues into her baffling disappearance 12 years ago.
During her time there, the grandmother-of-one met up with a Garda Superintendent for the first time in many years to discuss the case.
And speaking ahead of the meeting, she said her main priority was to ensure that arrangements are made for experts in the UK to deploy the latest technology to enhance the crucial, but low-quality CCTV footage.
She said: "There's been no development at all in the case over the past year, and it's utterly heartbreaking. Nobody's come forward yet and we're still at square one.
"This is always a very difficult time of year, because we're getting so close to the anniversary of Esra's disappearance. I dread the trip over to Ireland, because although I try to be as positive as possible, deep down I know I'll almost certainly be going back empty-handed and without answers yet again.
"But I'm meeting with a Garda Superintendent this time, and that gives me the opportunity to press for the CCTV footage to be looked at again. It was examined only once before by a company in the UK, who said at the time they couldn't do anything.
"But I don't accept that it can't be enhanced. We know the technology is out there, and I know for a fact that if, for example, there was an act of terrorism or extreme rioting caught on CCTV but blurry, the authorities would find a way to enhance the footage.
"The expertise exists in the UK to do this, and the technology is there, and I need the gardaí to send this evidence over there again and get a proper job done on it this time, because I don't think it was examined thoroughly enough before.
"The key to getting a breakthrough is to enhance the CCTV footage so we can identify the person who was driving that car. I'm sure that the person who was driving wasn't Esra, but the person who abducted her."
During her visit to Ireland, mother-of-two Berna also teamed up with a production team, who interviewed her and filmed her movements for a TG4 documentary to be screened later this year.
She added: "It doesn't get any easier, and it's taken an awful toll on my mother who's in poor health as it is. My mum never stops talking about Esra, and she hates coming over to Ireland because she's terrified I'm going to get abducted or suffer the same fate as Esra.
"But I've got to keep going. I've long since accepted that there's no hope of ever finding Esra alive. My mission now is to recover her body, and to do that I need the person or persons out there with information to come forward, and finally end this nightmare."