October 4, 2022

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Gardaí investigating the disappearance of Fiona Pender, who went missing in 1996, have made a fresh appeal for information in advance of the 26th anniversary of the case.

Ms Pender (25) was seven months pregnant when she went missing from her home in Tullamore. Co Offaly. To date no one has been charged in connection with the disappearance and her remains have never been found, despite numerous extensive searches. Gardaí have long suspected one specific person of being involved.

Her disappearance has been the subject of a major Garda cold case investigation in recent years.

The hairdresser was last seen at about 6am on Friday, August 23, 1996 in her flat on Church Street, Tullamore.

Gardaí based in Tullamore and Portlaoise hope that someone who saw Ms Pender before her disappearance or has information about what happened to her may now feel able to come forward.

In particular, they are seeking people to come forward who may have previously spoken to gardaí but were unable to provide all the information they had at the time.

“Gardaí continue to appeal to any person who may have previously come forward who felt they could not provide Gardaí with all the information they had in relation to this matter, to contact the investigation team again,” a Garda statement said.

Ms Pender was 1.65cm (5′5″) and had long blonde hair. She was wearing bright coloured clothes along with white leggings.

Gardaí are asking anyone with any information “no matter how small or insignificant you might believe it to be” to contact Portlaoise Garda station on 057 867 4100, or any Garda station. The Garda Confidential Line can also be contacted on 1800 666 111.

Although frequently linked to the disappearance of other women in the 1990s, gardaí have always been confident there is no connection. Unlike most of those cases, gardaí have long had a specific motive and suspect in Ms Pender’s disappearance.

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