At the weekend, Michael and Ann Deely marked the 19th anniversary of the last ever sighting of their son, Trevor Deely. He was just 22 years old when he disappeared after his work Christmas party in Dublin in 2000.
Just a few weeks before he vanished without a trace, Trevor Deely flew to Alaska in the US to meet up with a girl he’d met over the summer. According to an Irish Times special report, he managed to hitch a discounted fare from a friend who worked as a flight attendant.
Later, after he went missing, Gardaí would travel there to speak to the girl he visited in a bid to uncover leads in the case. His sisters travelled to Alaska separately also looking for answers. Nothing ever came of their investigations.
After the trip, and back in work as an IT consultant at Bank of Ireland, Trevor was looking forward to spending Christmas at his hometown of Naas, Co Kildare with his parents and three siblings.
But he never made it home for Christmas.
The last glimpse his family ever saw of their youngest son was on grainy CCTV footage issued by Gardaí after he disappeared without trace in 2000.
Now, 19 years later, his family and detectives involved in the case continue to appeal to the public for information in order to solve his disappearance.
Trevor was born on the 15th of August 1978. After school, he went on to study business at the Waterford Institute of Technology. He then studied computers in Dublin and started his job in the IT department of Bank of Ireland Asset Management on Leeson Street in 1999.
On the fateful night in 2000, it was his second Christmas party with the company, and he had a good idea of what to expect from such work nights out. On December 7, Trevor partied with Bank of Ireland colleagues at the Hilton Hotel near Charlemont Place.
After the party, he headed to the popular but since-closed Buck Whaleys nightclub on Lower Leeson Street. Detectives believe that at around 3:30 am, Trevor left the club and began walking towards the apartment he rented in the Renoir complex on Serpentine Avenue in Ballsbridge.
There was a bad storm that night with unusually high winds and a taxi strike didn't help. Trevor stopped into his office across from Leeson Bridge on route home. He called security and was let in.
There, Gardaí say that he made a cup of tea or coffee, spoke to his colleague Karl Pender who worked the night shift and checked his emails.
When leaving, he took an umbrella with the markings 'ACC Bank'. He left around 4:03 am and walked towards his apartment, zipping up his coat and raising his umbrella to shield against the heavy rain. It’s believed he called a friend from his hometown around this time and left a voicemail telling him that he was en route home, all was good and that he’d call him the next day.
Newly-enhanced CCTV footage released by Gardaí in 2017 shows a man dressed in black hanging around outside the bank gates 30 minutes before Deely arrived. They had a brief conversation before Trevor went inside.
At 4:14 am, the footage shows Deely walking past the old AIB bank on the corner of Haddington Road. Thirty seconds later, a man, believed by detectives to be the same man in black, walks past too.
This was the last known sighting of Trevor Deely.
There have been many theories put forward over the last 19 years about what happened to the 22-year old and how he was able to disappear without trace. Gardaí sub-aqua teams searched nearby rivers but found nothing. His family put up thousands of posters and leaflets desperately trying to find their brother and beloved son.
Then, following a tip-off from a fresh appeal made by Gardaí, they searched a 12-acre wooded-area in West Dublin known as a ‘stash area’ by criminals. It's believed an informer had suggested to Gardaí that Trevor may have been murdered by a Crumlin-based criminal in a chance encounter that night.
Search teams found a gun on the site but no evidence that Trevor was buried there.
His family were crushed. Last year his sister explained their frustration. “My father is heartbroken. He’d been doing so well up to the time of dig in 2017. It was a time of great hope for us, but nothing was found there. That nearly broke him. It really set him back.
“It’s his faith that has got him through this. My parents will never let go of that, or their hope of seeing Trevor again.”
Another witness came forward with information last year suggesting that Trevor was indeed the victim of foul play on the night he vanished. But it has so far failed to yield any new leads.
"I just feel lost. What do you do next?"
Trevor was one year older than me. In fact, it was the first story I covered as a journalist. His smiling face looked out at us from posters on every lamp post in the city. He was the reason we’d glance over our shoulders on the way home from a night out, the reason we never left any of our group alone.
At the time, I spoke intensively with lead detective Det. Sgt Michael Fitzgerald, who worked on the case from the beginning. I followed press-conferences with his family during appeal after appeal. Each year, they'd appear looking older and increasingly desperate to discover just what happened to their baby, no matter how upsetting the news.
Michele, Trevor's sister and a mother of two, says it continues to be a never-ending nightmare. “As a family, we have tried to be as proactive as you can possibly be, but I just feel lost. What do you do next?”
Trevor Deely is described as 6'1", of slim build, with short red/brown hair and of fair complexion. When he went missing he was wearing a yellow and brown checked shirt, beige/grey corduroy trousers, dark deck shoes with white stripes and a green padded jacket. He was carrying a large, dark blue umbrella with white 'ACC Bank' lettering.
Gardaí at Pearse Street Garda Station are appealing for any information, however small, to try to solve the mystery of what happened to Trevor.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Pearse Street Garda station on 01-666-9000, the Garda Confidential Line at 1800-666-111 or Crimestoppers on 1800-250-025.