A manhunt is underway after the severed head of a missing teen was discovered inside a burning car and other body parts were found in a park in a suspected gangland hit.
The remains of Keane Mulready-Woods, 17, were recovered from a blazing Volvo hatchback in Drumcondra, north Dublin, yesterday morning.
The gruesome discovery was made before tests of other remains found dumped in a sports bag in the Coolock area of northside Dublin on Monday night matched the teen’s DNA profile.
Keane, who had links to both factions in a local gangland feud, disappeared on Sunday night at 6pm after going to meet an associate.
His family reported him missing on Monday — just hours before his body parts were found by youngsters on a Coolock footpath.
Yesterday’s confirmation of his barbaric death also comes after his sister posted a tribute to him on Facebook, saying: “You are so special in my life that I know no other person will be able to take your place my brother.”
Following the grim discovery on Monday night, police in Drogheda swooped on six properties linked to both sides of the gangland dispute.
‘Shocking discovery’: Cops find human limbs in plastic bag outside suburban home
One of the homes remained sealed off last night and was being treated as a “crime scene”.
It’s understood cops found traces of blood and attempts to clean the house. It’s not clear at this stage if it is where Keane was murdered and then chopped up — but we can reveal gardai will receive DNA tests from the house later today.
As a post-mortem continued on the body parts found inside the car, police are still waiting to establish how he was killed.
The chief suspects are the mob led by a psychopath at war with Owen Maguire’s crew in Drogheda and the Mr Big gang in Coolock.
A source said: “This is a whole new level of depravity in organized crime when a child can be murdered and dismembered in such a brutal manner.
“The extreme levels of violence were used as a warning to others and the body parts left in Coolock to remind gangs what their enemies are capable of.
“Keane was one of many young men who have been lured into the Drogheda feud and this is now the reality of what could happen to them. He was working for both sides and he may have been targeted because his killers thought he was doing more for one of the gangs.
“It doesn’t take much for someone to be killed.”
Keane’s head was discovered yesterday morning after the Volvo was abandoned in Trinity Terrace, a laneway that runs between the back of houses on Clonliffe Road and the nearby railway line.
The alarm was raised by a local who saw the car ablaze. Dublin Fire Brigade extinguished the blaze before it destroyed the car, leading to hopes some evidence may be salvaged.
After forensics completed their examination of the scene yesterday, an ambulance was called to remove the remains at around 10.30am.
The car was then taken away on the back of a low-loader around half an hour afterward.
The investigation is being co-ordinated by Drogheda Garda Station under Chief Supt Christy Mangan, who led the Scissor Sisters (Linda and Charlotte Mulhall) probe. Officers from Coolock and Mountjoy are also centrally involved. Chief Supt Mangan said: “There are a number of groups basically interested in controlling certain parts of society through cocaine.
“They want to finance their own lifestyles through drugs and intimidation. We’re not going to allow that to happen.
“We’re there to protect the people in Drogheda, to protect the people in society and we will certainly do so in a very robust fashion.
“Keane is a 17-year-old juvenile, he disappeared on Sunday, January 12 and parts of his remains have now been discovered. This is a brutal and savage attack on a child and is completely unacceptable in any normal democratic society. The level of violence is shocking.”
In a statement, he added: “It is important to remember that Keane was a child, a young boy, trying to find his way in life, he has now lost his life and his family have lost their loved son and brother.”
Keane was last seen wearing a navy Hugo Boss tracksuit, black Hugo Boss runners, a red/orange Canada Goose jacket and a Gucci baseball cap. Tributes to the murdered teenager were posted on social media, with one saying: “What sort of world are we living in. He was only a child. God love the young lad’s family.”
Another said: “Thinking of you all. My heart is absolutely broke for you. It’s such a cruel world.”
Locals told of their shock at yesterday’s grisly find, but pointed out that the lane was previously used to dump the getaway car used in the murder of Michael Keogh by the Hutch gang in May 2017.
Keogh’s brother Jonathan and sister Regina have since been jailed for life for the 2016 slaying of Gareth Hutch.
One man told the Irish Sun: “It’s everywhere, it’s happening all the time now. Sure look at Coolock. There was a shooting a few years back, they dumped the car down the very same lane. It’s awful, we can’t believe it but unfortunately this is the way things are now.”
A woman said: “I’m living here 40 years, it’s crazy.
“I heard a load of sirens going off in the middle of the night but I didn’t get up to look at it. I didn’t hear a thing, I only saw it on the TV when I got up.”
The Irish Sun can reveal officers had already obtained the lad’s DNA after he was convicted last month of intimidating the mother of a teenager who owed a drug debt to one of the feuding drug mobs.
On that occasion, he smashed the windows of her house before throwing a petrol bomb into it. He later got a suspended sentence.
During the feud, the teen, who also had connections to Mr. Flashy’s gang in Finglas, had been working as an enforcer for paralyzed gang boss Maguire’s associates. But he also met with Maguire’s enemies and had been acting as a debt collector for them.
Another line of inquiry is that he was targeted in revenge for the murder of Richard Carberry, who was shot dead in November.
A source said: “There is a lot of paranoia out there and because he was working for both sides, he would have been an easy target.
“Associates for Carberry were baying for blood and they wanted someone to pay with their life.”
Gardai believe Keane was lured to his death after he was due to meet pals on Sunday. All of his friends will now be interviewed.
Another source said: “We are dealing with young people who have got involved in something way over their heads and can see no way out.
“People should pick up the phone and tell gardai what they know because this type of violence only leads to further barbaric acts.”