Members of Daniel McAnaspie's family make an appeal for information on his whereabouts after the 17-year-old disappeared last February. His body was found 11 weeks later

THE family of a teenager who died in state care six months ago says it is disappointed not to have received an apology and explanation from the HSE about failures in the standard of care the vulnerable young man received.

Daniel McAnaspie (17) disappeared in Dublin in February and was found dead in Co Meath 11 weeks later. He had been stabbed to death. On the night he was murdered, the teenager attended a party in Whitestown Avenue, Blanchardstown.

It is believed Daniel became involved in a row with two men, who murdered him and then disposed of his body.

Five people – four men and a teenage girl – have been arrested and released without charge in the murder investigation to date. It is understood that the garda investigation is progressing well.

Daniel was in the care of the HSE at the time of his death. He was considered by his family and the HSE to be a vulnerable youngster. Born and raised in Finglas, north Dublin, he was the fourth of six children.

He was taken into state care in 2003. Both of his parents are dead. The McAnaspie family has been highly critical of his seven years in care. Shortly before he went missing, his aunt Sabrina had a meeting with the HSE. She said she warned it Daniel would come to harm if he spent more time on the streets. He lived in several different residential care homes and hostels, and frequently ran away.

"His death is getting harder to deal with as the days go by instead of easier," Sabrina told the Sunday Tribune. "We have had very little contact with the HSE in the past six months. They could have apologised. I don't want anyone to lose their job but we know he was failed by the care the state provided. We would have expected an explanation from them but we have had nothing."

The teenager lived with his aunt for a period but she was forced to put him back into care because of his difficulties.

"I fostered Daniel but he wasn't able to live by the rules in my house so he went back into care. When we did foster him, no one came and told us what to expect and how to prepare ourselves. But he still spent a lot of time with us. He was in so many different residential homes and they did not know where he was most of the time. He was allowed roam the streets," Sabrina said.

In contrast, Sabrina said Daniel's two sisters received an excellent standard of care in the residential home in which they were placed. "They were both put into a stable environment. One of them is in college now and the other is doing very well in school and wants to go to college as well. Daniel did not get any stability and we kept telling them about his problems but they never did anything about it," she added.

The HSE is carrying out a separate probe into the teenager's death.