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Two years on, still no sign of Tina Satchwell

From EchoLive.

It is two years today since Cork woman Tina Satchwell disappeared and a little over a year since the last major activity in the search for her.

While her name joins the ranks of the long-term missing in the minds of the public, for her loved ones her absence continues to be a source of agony.

Aged 45 at the time she disappeared, Tina came from a large family and was well known in Fermoy, where she grew up and still regularly visited.

She had spent some time in England, where she met husband Richard Satchwell 30 years ago and was living with him on Grattan Street in Youghal at the time of her disappearance.

It was Richard who reported her missing on March 24, 2017. He told gardaí he had had last seen her at home on March 20, before he left for a few hours. She was gone when he returned, as were a number of suitcases, although Tina’s phone and keys remained.

Richard Satchwell holding up a photo of Tina at their home in Youghal yesterday.Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Richard Satchwell holding up a photo of Tina at their home in Youghal yesterday.
Picture: Eddie O’Hare

Richard also said Tina took over €26,000 in cash, proceeds from the sale of a house in Fermoy. He has said the four-day wait to report her missing was because he thought she was looking for some time to ‘get her head straight’.

He said he thought she might have gone to England, where she has siblings living. But no one in her family, in Ireland or abroad, had seen or heard from her. As weeks rolled by, concerns grew.

In June, gardaí carried out a forensic examination of the Grattan Street house and the couple’s car but found nothing of interest. They also conducted searches of Youghal harbour, which is close to the couple’s home, and a number of other sites in the town. But again, nothing was found.

Despite the fact that Tina does not have a passport, gardaí contacted Interpol and checked with colleagues in the UK to see if she could be located abroad but there has never been any evidence found of her leaving the country.

CCTV footage of bus stations, ferries and ports were among the more than 100 hours of footage pored over by gardaí as part of the investigations and in excess of 100 statements have been taken to date.

The mystery surrounding Tina deepened further when Richard found what he thought could be suitcases belonging to her in July 2017, close to a clothes bank in a supermarket car park in Youghal. But tests turned up no connection to Tina.

As Tina’s absence stretched to months, Richard made a number of public appeals for her to return. He has also said he has felt as if he was under suspicion, but strenuously denied any involvement in his wife’s disappearance.

“If I was asked to take a lie detector test, I’d take one,” he said in 2017. “I’m innocent of any wrongdoing.

“One day my wife is going to turn back up, or she’s going to get in touch with the Gardaí.”

He reiterated that belief this week, saying he hoped she was watching appeals and would get in touch.

Tina Satchwell: Facebook
Tina Satchwell: Facebook

Tina is also a much-loved and missed sister, aunt and niece.

Although her family have largely declined to make public appeals or comment, they remain dedicated to keeping the search alive, issuing appeals and sharing photographs of Tina on social media regularly.

On the Missing Person Tina Satchwell Facebook page, which is maintained by a niece of Tina, the family said: “We are really worried for her safety, we are desperate to know where she is.”

There was some hope of a breakthrough in March 2018.

Gardai searching at Mitchel's Wood, Castlemartyr, for evidence. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Gardai searching at Mitchel’s Wood, Castlemartyr, for evidence. 
Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Reports that a woman matching Tina’s description had been seen with another person led to a 12-day search at Mitchel’s Wood, Bridgetown, in Castlemartyr. But nothing was found.

A full year later those who love Tina still wait for answers.