Missing Dublin teen Amy Fitzpatrick made it back to her Spanish home before she disappeared on New Year’s Day 12 years ago, her friend who was the last known person to see her alive believes.
nd it was an interview she subsequently saw on ‘The Late Late Show’ that convinced her that Amy did not come to harm on her way home, which has been the main line of inquiry in the investigation.
Amy had spent the night babysitting with her pal Ashley Rose in Riviera del Sol near Mijas Costa in Malaga before leaving at 10pm on January 1, 2008.
Amy’s mother Audrey Fitzpatrick, and stepfather Dave Mahon, believe she never made it home, but Ashley says that Audrey’s ‘Late Late Show’ interview in May that year has convinced her that Amy must have made it back to the house at some point that night.
In the interview, Audrey shows Pat Kenny Amy’s light pink Nokia phone, and Ashley and her mother Debbie are adamant that Amy had that phone in her possession when she left their house.
“It looks to me like Amy made it home. She had that phone in our house, and then her mother had it in the interview,” she told the Irish Independent from Spain.
The Nokia handset was later reported to have been stolen in a burglary at Audrey Fitzpatrick’s home.
“Amy had no credit for the phone, but she used it to listen to music on it, and her friends’ contact details were on it too. I remember she used the phone to access her mother’s number on New Year’s Eve in our house and rang the number from our house,” Ashley said.
“It was later I saw a recording of the interview on ‘The Late Late Show’, and I thought ‘Amy had it (the phone) when she left our house’.
“I’ve told the Guardia Civil here but nobody has followed it up or taken it seriously,” she added.
In the interview on ‘The Late Late Show’ on May 16, 2008, then hosted by Pat Kenny, Audrey explained it was January 3 that year when she realised Amy was missing because she knew she had been visiting Ashley, and Audrey thought she was still with her in her house because she had hoped to stay another night.
“I leave the back door open because she always forgets her key,” she told Mr Kenny.
Mr Kenny then takes out the pink-faced Nokia and shows it to the camera and the audience.
“She didn’t have it with her?” he asked Audrey.
“No, she forgot it, which is nothing unusual. That’s why I say I leave the back door open because she always forgets her key as well,” Audrey said.
“(The phone) was under her clothes on the bed,” she said.
Here in Ireland, Amy’s aunt Christine Kenny, the sister of Amy’s biological father, Christopher, has called on Spanish authorities to conduct a cold-case review of Amy’s disappearance, and for gardaí and the Irish Government to become involved also and put more pressure on Spanish police to look again at the facts.
“There were so many twists and turns in the case, but the truth is in there somewhere,” said Christine.
Amy’s vanishing made headlines all over the world, and Audrey and Dave Mahon conducted high-profile media campaigns appealing for information.
There was speculation she had been abducted by people involved in a sordid sex ring. There was also speculation that Dublin criminal Eric ‘Lucky’ Wilson, who was in Spain at the time, was involved.
He is currently in prison in Spain for shooting 24-year-old British criminal Daniel Smith to death in a packed Spanish bar.
There was also speculation about a Scottish man who had befriended young girls in Amy’s circle of friends.
But nothing ever came of any of the avenues of investigation.
Audrey and Dave Mahon eventually moved back to Dublin.
Mahon is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for the manslaughter of Amy’s older brother Dean, who he stabbed during a row at their northside Dublin apartment in May 2013.
Both Ashley and Christine believe Amy is dead.
If they are right about the phone then did Amy make it back home that night before going out again?
But Audrey Fitzpatrick is adamant that Amy left the phone at home.
“If Amy didn’t have her phone Ashley would’ve had my number in her phone,” she said.
Asked about Ashley and her mother being convinced Amy had the phone, Audrey replied: “No. Absolutely positively not.
“The phone was (later) robbed when we had a break in at the house in Spain. As stupidly as women do, you leave everything in the top drawer that’s of value, and I had actually stopped bringing it around with me because I was afraid I’d lose it, and it had all her photographs and texts on it,” said Audrey.
“I don’t know how they can say she had the phone at the time because she had no credit on it,” she added.
“Would the Irish police and the Spanish police look into the German man who was implicated in relation to Madeleine McCann? He drove a camper van, he could’ve been anywhere in Europe?” asked Audrey.
“Where we lived and socialised was campervan heaven. They travelled from country to country.”
She said she has been told that Amy’s disappearance is a Spanish police case and not an Irish one, but would argue that if British police can become involved in the Madeleine McCann case then the Irish authorities should be able to get involved with the investigation into Amy’s disappearance.
“The English police, the German police and the Portuguese police are all gathered around Madeleine McCann’s case. I haven’t heard anything from the Spanish police and I’ve been told by the Irish police that they’re not investigating it because it’s a Spanish case. But Amy is an Irish citizen at the end of the day,” she said.
“I feel amputated from the investigation now. It breaks my heart.”
Amy had been living in Spain for four years but had not settled in the country. She had been due to make a trip to Ireland on St Stephen’s Day but it was postponed – and she was very upset about that.
There were reports that she had been bullied in school in Spain.
Her and Dean had been brought there by Audrey and Dave Mahon on the understanding they were going on holiday, and it was only when they were there that the children were told Spain was to be their new home.
“She wanted to come home from Spain, and stay with her dad,” Christine said.
Christine said the first she heard that Amy was missing was from a relative who had seen it on the Bebo social media site that preceded Facebook and Instagram.
“She wasn’t officially reported missing until the third of January.
“Within a day or so of Amy being reported missing we got flights and went over there,” she added.
“We just want to find her. She needs to be found. Amy deserves to be found,” Christine said.