Gardaí believe Kerry’s grandmother, Miriam Burns, 75, was molested by her alleged killer in the days leading up to her murder.
They have obtained CCTV footage they believe captured the prime suspect near Ms Burns’ home over the weekend before her body was found.
And they’ve also received reports of several sightings of the alleged killer near her home on the Ardshanavooly estate in Killarney in the days leading up to her death.
Gardaí fear Ms Burns was dead for some time before the tragedy was uncovered on Monday afternoon.
They now believe the pensioner may have been molested by the prime suspect in the case, who, when problems arose over his messy lifestyle, would often seek help from the kind-hearted grandmother, often in the form of cash donations.
The man called the woman at home for help.
And occasionally he stayed around and waited for her when she wasn’t around.
Gardaí are also following up indications that threats have been made by the individual on previous occasions when help has been refused.
The revelation came as detectives made “great progress” with their forensic and technical investigation into the exact circumstances in which the grandmother and mother-of-four was killed.
Ms Burns’ body was discovered in the living room of her two-storey terraced house around lunchtime on Monday after neighbors called the property over concerns from an overseas relative who was unable to contact her.
She was lying on her side with blood stains on her face.
The woman – hailed by neighbors as “Killarney’s smiling wife” – had been violently assaulted and an attempt had been made to strangle her.
Mrs. Burns had marks on her face and neck.
However, for operational reasons, Gardaí have refused to release the results of the autopsy, which was performed on Tuesday by Assistant State Pathologist Dr. Margaret Bolster at University Hospital Kerry (UHK).
Detectives are convinced Ms. Burns knew her killer.
There was no evidence of forced entry into the property – nor was there any sign of a robbery.
Gardaí have conducted extensive house-to-house investigations throughout the Ardshanavooly area, an estate on the edge of Killarney town center and just a short walk from the Killarney Outlet Centre.
Officers have also spent hours trawling through surveillance camera footage picked up from homes and businesses in the area.
A source revealed the prime suspect in the case was removed from several sightings in the Ardshanavooly area – not far from Ms Burns’ home – over the weekend before her body was found.
Investigators also hope to receive the results of critical forensic tests in the coming days.
This includes a careful analysis of clothing and other items found in a search of two areas in Killarney town center near the Wishing Well and Ross Castle on Wednesday.
All findings are summarized in a report submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
A man in his 50s who had been detained and questioned by Gardaí for three days on suspicion of the murder of his grandmother was released on Thursday without charge.
The man – known to the deceased – was arrested in the South Kerry area.
It is described as a “chaotic lifestyle”.
Mrs Burns’ funeral service will be held tomorrow at 4pm at St Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney. Her funeral procession will arrive at St Mary’s Cathedral at 2.15pm with a private cremation to follow the requiem mass.
The obituary said the 75-year-old was “missed and infinitely loved by her children, grandchildren, sisters, brother and entire extended family, friends, neighbors and the wider (Kerry) community.”
Numerous Killarney groups are expected to pay tribute at her funeral to a woman who has been described as kind hearted and devoted to her family and community.
Gardaí have again urged anyone who spotted suspicious activity in the area to get in touch and help their investigations.
“We are appealing to anyone who was in the Ardshanavooly area of Killarney between 5pm Friday and 1pm Monday and witnessed activity that caught their attention to come forward,” a spokesman said.
Ms Burns has four children, some of whom now live abroad.
She also comes from a large and well respected South Kerry family.
She loved to travel and regularly visited European cities, often traveling to meet some of her children.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/suspect-in-miriam-burns-case-caught-on-cctv-near-kerry-grandmothers-home-before-murder-41924554.html The suspect in the Miriam Burns case was caught on CCTV near Kerry’s grandmother’s home before the murder