A PRIVATE detective hired to investigate the disappearance of Amy Fitzpatrick has claimed the Spanish police's assertion that she went missing on New Year's Day 2008 is at odds with witnesses who saw her socialising later that night in a nearby town.
Fifteen-year-old Amy disappeared just over two years ago after she left a friend's house to walk to her home in Mijas, southern Spain, along an unlit path she used as a shortcut, according to Spanish police.
But private investigator Liam Brady, who has been hired by Amy's father Christopher, said two separate witnesses have come forward to him in confidence with information which contradicts the police version of events. These witnesses claim that they saw the teenager in the nearby town of Fuengirola later that night. However, these witnesses are unwilling to give formal statements to the police about this because of fears of "intimidation", he said.
"We're pushing to have the Spanish authorities look more closely at Amy's lifestyle. This requires intensive investigation and has not been looked at properly by the Spanish authorities. I believe the type of life she was leading in Spain should point the police in the direction of what might have happened to her," he told the Sunday Tribune. "There is no evidence that she disappeared on her walk home from her friend's house and she wasn't reported missing until 3 January."
Brady is in contact with Irish government officials and Irish officials from the Spanish embassy in Dublin in an attempt to get the Spanish authorities to launch a probe into the teenager's lifestyle. Amy had not been attending school at the time of her disappearance.
Amy's mother Audrey and her partner Dave Mahon launched a massive campaign to find Amy following her disappearance and are now trying to enlist the help of high-profile celebrities to raise the profile of the search for the missing teenager. Audrey has hired her own private investigator to probe her daughter's disappearance. She is estranged from her husband Christopher.
Brady said he had received several confidential emails from people who knew Amy and all the evidence seemed to point to the life she was living may be the key to solving the case. He has hired private investigators in Spain to interview people who knew the now 17-year-old and collate information about the teenager. He said he also received a threat from someone by email in relation to his investigation of the case which stated, "'If you get close to solving this, you become the problem'."