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05th Sep 2022

Fiona Pender murder suspect could return to Ireland

Ellen Fitzpatrick

He is currently in Canada.

Gardaí are currently keeping an eye out for the main suspect for Fiona Pender’s murder as there is a possibility he is returning to the country.

Cold case detectives are hoping to question the man as he has been living in Canada for a number of years.

The man is said to be returning to the country after the death of a relative and is coming over for the funeral.

The suspect is known to the Pender family and lived in the midlands in the 1990s, the same time Fiona went missing and believed to have been murdered.

Gardaí say they also believe they know the motive for her murder, with the man in question having been married and his wife accused him of various violent acts which include sexual attacks.

She has since separated from him and the case did not result in conviction.

Fiona went missing from Tullamore, Co Offaly on August 23, 1996 aged 25 and was seven months pregnant at the time of her disappearance.

With a suspect and a motive, Gardaí are yet to find a body but it is believed to be buried in the midlands. Various people have been arrested over the murder but never charged and no trace of her has been found.

Hoping that the suspect returns to Ireland, former cold case detective Alan Bailey told the Sunday Mirror that a new review of the case is needed.

Bailey said: “There was one person of interest. What I would suggest to the Cold Case Review Team is to interview those who gave this person an alibi at the time.

“I would be satisfied after spending 13 years investigating that there is nobody else but this one person.

“It’s very hard to keep to yourself. Maybe a person for some misguided loyalties has kept this secret all that time and maybe it’s time now that they said to themselves, ‘We owe it to Fiona’s memory and the dead child’s memory’.”