Murdered student's family meet relatives of suspect

Relatives of a student abducted and murdered in Ireland have met the family of the man suspected of the crime.

Mark Hennessy, 40, was shot dead by a Garda officer south of Dublin last weekend, a little over 24 hours after he is suspected of kidnapping and strangling 24-year-old Jastine Valdez in an apparently random attack in Co Wicklow.

Ms Valdez's body was discovered in thick undergrowth in the Puck's Castle area of Co Dublin last Monday afternoon.

The accountancy student, originally from the Philippines, lived in Enniskerry in Wicklow while Hennessy lived with his partner and two children in nearby Bray.

Gardai released a joint statement from the two families on Sunday evening.

"In the midst of our grief both the Valdez and Hennessy families met on Friday morning where we exchanged sympathies with each other on the tragic circumstances that resulted in the loss of our respective loved ones.

"Both families request privacy at this very difficult time."

Ireland's police watchdog, the Garda Siochana Ombudsman's Commission, is investigating the incident that led to Hennessy being shot dead.