Daniel McAnaspie: found dead last Thursday afternoon

Gardaí last night confirmed that the identity of a murder victim who had been stabbed to death and then dumped in a drain is that of Daniel McAnaspie (17).

The teenager's body was found on Thursday afternoon by a farmer walking at Rathfeigh, between Kilmoon Cross and Duleek, Co Meath. He spotted the partially clothed remains at the bottom of a drain. It had been there for some time and was badly decomposed. A post-mortem examination confirmed that McAnaspie had been stabbed up to six times in the body.

Sixty gardaí from the Dublin west division have been trying to solve the disappearance of McAnaspie.

The teenager is originally from Finglas and was in state care at the time of his disappearance. On 26 February he went with friends to a house in Blanchardstown, Dublin, where a group of young people were drinking. It is understood he went to the house to meet some teenage girls he knew. Detectives have established that a group of up to seven people were socialising there that night.

A senior source said that over the course of the night, McAnaspie got into a row with some young men who were not his friends. The teenager got into two scuffles with some of these young men on the street.

They ranged in age from 17 to their early 20s. The cause of the row remains unclear.

Detectives have spoken to everyone who McAnaspie was with that night. "He went to the house with friends and fell into the company of some other young men that night. There was a lot of alcohol and a row developed," said a senior source.

"We have spoken to everyone present that night. It is worrying that a row between these very young people could have led to something very serious happening that night. There are people out there who know what happened."

McAnaspie, who had two brothers and three sisters, was not involved in criminality and despite having a difficult upbringing because of the death of both his parents at a young age, he was considered a well-adjusted young man.

The teenager was not in education and had gone missing numerous times in the past.

However, he had never gone missing for more than a day or two without making contact with his family.

The garda investigation has included searches extending from Blanchardstown into other parts of west Dublin and along the M3 motorway.

Divisional search teams, backed up by the national support services including air support, underwater and dog units, examined several lakes, a stretch of the Royal Canal and fields around Finglas and Blanchardstown in north Dublin.