Teenager’s mother ‘immediately concerned’ when she left home with murder-accused
The mother of murdered schoolgirl Ana Kriegel was “immediately concerned” when she discovered her daughter had left home with one of the boys accused of killing her, a court has heard.
Geraldine Kriegel said she was left “terrified” after the 14-year-old, who she described as a great communicator, did not respond to her texts or phone calls.
On the second day of the trial at Central Criminal Court in Dublin, Mrs Kreigel said she had texted Ana “home now” and when she failed to respond, she texted her again saying she would “call the police” if she did not answer.
The court heard previously that Ana’s naked body was found in a derelict house in Lucan, Co Dublin, days after she went missing in May last year.
Two boys are standing trial for her murder.
Boy A has pleaded not guilty to the murder and sexual assault “involving serious violence” of the schoolgirl.
Boy B has pleaded not guilty to murder.
Both boys cannot be identified because of their age.
Mrs Kriegel brushed away tears as she recalled the morning of the day Ana disappeared.
“I went to wake her up in the morning as I usually do,” she said.
“She liked when I woke her before I left.”
Mrs Kriegel kissed her daughter goodbye and left for work in Dublin. It was the last time she saw Ana alive.
Later that day, Ana called her mother at 4.02pm and 4.03pm, but she was in a meeting and was not able to answer her phone.
“I text her to say I would phone her as soon as I could. She phoned me all the time, we were always in touch,” she added.
“I took the train home and I tried to ring her after 5pm and it went to the voice answer.
“I didn’t leave a message as I knew I would be home in a few minutes and would see her.”
Mrs Kriegel arrived home at about 5.20pm and went into the back garden where her husband Patric was.
“It was a beautiful day, it very sunny and warm. I asked Patric where Ana was and he said she left the house with (Boy B),” she said.
“I was immediately concerned because no-one calls for Ana. I couldn’t understand. She had no friends.”
Brendan Grehan, senior counsel for the State, asked if it was a source of worry for her.
“Yes,” she replied.
“I text her just two words and said ‘home now’.”
“That was about 5.30pm. I got no answer.
“Myself and Patric had a discussion, I was so worried I said I have to text her, so I said ‘answer me now or I am calling the police’.”
She told the court that she was feeling like a paranoid, overprotective mother and also terrified.
Ms Kriegel went searching for her daughter, looking in ditches and areas where children and teenagers usually hang out.
“I couldn’t see her anywhere,” she said.
Mr and Mrs Kriegel contacted a retired detective who lived close to their home.
He advised them to contact police straight away.
Mrs Kriegel said Ana was a “communicator” and would never ignore her, even if she was annoyed.
“She always responded and she was never late. It was serious alarm bells, I was terrified,” she said.
It emerged on Wednesday that the last call from Ana’s phone was to the place where her mother worked at 5.20pm.
Prosecutors say Ana was dead some 25 minutes later.
Phone records also show that she was last active on WhatsApp at 5.13pm.
The family and gardai spent the day after Ana disappeared searching for her.
“We got up at 5am and and we walked everywhere, we went into ditches and through woods and looked as far as we could,” she added.
While out searching, she saw the gardai with Boy B and another boy she did not recognise.
“The other boy was limping very badly. I didn’t know him,” she added.
On May 17, the garda family liaison officer told them that a girl’s body had been found in a derelict house.
The following day, Mr and Mrs Kriegel identified their daughter’s remains at Dublin City Mortuary.