A Mayo man is appealing for information from the Irish in the Britain to help trace the body of his sister, who went missing 14 years ago this Thursday.
Sandra Collins, 29, was last seen at a chip shop in Killala on Monday December 4, 2000 after 11 pm. The takeaway was a five minute walk away from her home but she did not make it home that night.
Earlier on in the evening she went to the shop to buy goods for her aunt that she lived with and was a carer for, and the elderly man who lived next door.
She purchased sausages, firelighters and other goods and dropped them off at her neighbour’s house but did not return home.
Three hours later she was in the takeaway and the woman working there believes she must have been in company, either in a vehicle or house, as on the damp, wet winter’s night she did not show any sign of being outdoors for a significant period of time.
Four days later, her jacket was found at the nearby pier with the sausages she had bought in the pocket.
Patrick Collins says that due to the current economic climate there may be someone who has moved to the UK who remembers something or has some information about his sister’s disappearance.
“People do not need to be afraid to come forward. Our family and the gardai have accepted that Sandra died. Her life was taken from her, it was not a suicide, but all we want is to bury our sister.
“She was well known in the area and was a nice person and the least she deserves is a Christian burial alongside my mother and brother.
“She is buried somewhere, not a million miles away from her home, and she has just been dumped somewhere like an unused piece of rubbish and someone knows where she is.
“It is utterly devastating that it is 14 years on and we haven’t been able to do that. She was ten days short of her 29th birthday and I know that someone somewhere knows something.
“No piece of information is insignificant, and I often think that people are only human, someone in the area must have told someone something and we need that information to come forward.
“It’s hard for us all year around, but today I was driving and heard the first Christmas song on the radio. I thought ‘Oh God, it’s December again. I wish I could fall asleep and wake up on January 1’.
“Everybody knows what it is like to lose somebody they love but we haven’t had a chance to mourn for Sandra yet. Our brother died six months before she disappeared after a work accident and we got to lay him to rest and begin to deal with it.
“We have never been able to deal with Sandra’s death as we still know she’s out there somewhere and I would not wish this on anybody.
“I would appeal to anybody losing sleep over this to please come forward, just to let us lay our sister to rest with dignity and to give our family closure.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Crimestoppers on (00353)85-209-2119 or Ballina Garda Station on (00353)-96-20560.