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Back issue: August 2009

Public called to help hunt Paiche’s murderer

Photo of murder victim Paiche Oneymaechi
Paiche Onyemaechi

By Lylian Fotabong

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009, marked five years since the gruesome discovery of the wrapped headless body of 25-years-old Malawian woman, Paiche Onyemaechi Unyolo. Still, the killer or killers have never been caught.

Family and friends of the deceased, and the Clonmel Gardai have joined in a renewed plea for the killer to come forward. This time, family and friends have appealed again to Africans, in particular, to disclose any information that they may have, no matter how small it may be.

Mrs Onyemaechi disappeared from her St Herblain Park’s home, Waterford City Centre, three weeks before her dismembered body was found wrapped in a plastic bag near a stream in Brenor Bridge, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, in 2004. The body was discovered by a woman who was walking in the area.

Her head was sliced up and has never been found that led to the speculation that her murder was part of a ritual killing. This surmise has left the African community in Ireland and Africa, and also the communities of Piltown and Waterford in profound panic ever since.

Paiche was the daughter of Malawian Chief Justice, Leonard Unyolo, and she died leaving behind two sons, Anthony, who was three-years-old and Andrew who was only one-and-half-years old at the time of the atrocious act.

The death woman is also reported to have gone missing on a number of times before the final disappearance that saw her final hours here in Ireland. Unconfirmed reports also disclosed that the Malawian woman was in addition, a lap dancer and a prostitute in Limerick and Dublin before meeting her premature death.

Her husband and father of their two sons, an Igbo from Nigeria, Mr. Chika Onyemaechi, disappeared in the week following the discovery of his wife’s dissected body and has since never been seen. The Gardai are still pledging any information regarding his whereabouts. They also have concerns for his safety and want him to share information regarding the dead of his wife.

In view of the fact that about forty Gardai have been involved in investigating the horror that led to the death of the mother of two, it is dreadful that the killer has still not been caught and may be just around, even in your neighbourhood.

What is more, from the time of the murder, the investigation has registered about five hundred statements, about four arrests, the latest, being the trial of a man in April, 2007, for withholding information about the murder. But like all others, he too was cleared of all charges and no one has ever been charged with the murder.

The Funeral Mass of Paiche Onyemaechi was held in Piltown and her body was buried in John’s Hill Cemetery. Speaking at the mass, Rev. Dr. John Parking described the death as an “outrage” by a brutal person but pleaded with Africans to be helpful in the investigation process and to not indulge in rumours: “Leave the investigation to the police, who will leave no stone unturned” and that plea is still being made. Mrs Onyemaechi is remembered every year and her thoughts stay on throughout with, not only her family, relations and friends, but also with the communities of St. Patrick’s United Methodist and Presbyterian Churches in Waterford and around the world.

Meanwhile, the Gardai at Clonmel Garda Station are pleading with the public and especially, the Africans, to release any information of the whereabouts of Mr. Chika Onyemaechi who may be very instrumental in their search for clues on how, why and where the young mother of two died.

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Anyone with information can contact the Gardai in confidence on these numbers: 052 77640 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111. Contacts can also be made on any Garda station.