Sanjeev Chada has been arrested by gardaí investigating the murders of his two sons, ten-year-old Eoghan and five-year-old Ruairí
Gardaí are treating as a murder inquiry their investigation into the deaths of Ruairí (5) and Eoghan (10) Chada after postmortems on their remains found they had died at the hands of a third party.
The investigation into the murders of young brothers Eoghan and Ruairí Chada intensified today as their father was discharged from hospital and taken into Garda custody.
Sanjeez Chada was taken to Westport Garda station in Co Mayo at 12.30pm for questioning under caution about his sons’ deaths.
The arrest comes as other family members are in Westport preparing to bring the bodies of the boys back to their Co Carlow home today ahead of their funerals in coming days. Their bodies were released this afternoon following the completion of post mortems.
Mr Chada’s detention under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act gives investigating gardaí a maximum of 24 hours to question him. When that period expires he must either be charged with a criminal offence or released from custody without charge.
However, if gardaí detain Mr Chada overnight, his questioning could be suspended and would officially recommence tomorrow morning. In that event, the 24 hours of questioning time would not expire until tomorrow evening.
If released without charge, he could be arrested again at a future time if and when the Garda investigation into the killings throws up new information gardaí may want to put to him.
Mr Chada has been in hospital in Westport since he was taken from the scene of a car crash at Cloonen, Rossbeg, near Westport on Monday at 3.30pm.
He had been reported missing with his sons at 1.30am on Monday after he failed to return to his home with Eoghan (10) and Ruairí (5) on Sunday night.
They had left their home at Ballinkillen near Bagnesltown in Co Carlow at 6.30pm on Sunday ostensibly to go bowling in Carlow town.
Mr Chada’s wife and the boys’ mother, Kathleen Chada raised the alarm in the early hours.
However, despite an intensive Garda investigation from the early hours of Monday and through the day, no trace was found of Mr Chada, his two boys or the green Ford Focus car they were in until the vehicle crashed into a wall at high speed just outside Westport on Monday afternoon.
As Mr Chada was being assisted for his injuries at the crash scene, gardaí searched his vehicle and found the bodies of his two sons Eoghan and Ruairí in the boot.
Post mortems on their remains later revealed they had died unlawfully and had been dead in the vehicle for several hours before their bodies were found.
When those results were confirmed last night, a murder investigation was begun. And when Mr Chada was discharged from hospital at around 12.20pm today, he was taken to Westport garda station for questioning.
While the results of the post mortems on the dead boys have not been released, Garda sources have told The Irish Times they died of asphyxiation, apparently from strangulation.
Concerns for the safety of the boys were high from the time they went missing because Ms Chada was unable to contact her husband by phone and because staying away from the home in unexplained circumstances was completely out of character for him.
Mr Chada, an out of work IT consultant, had also been under financial pressure of late having suffered losses on the stock exchange online and spread betting.
In the hours after he and his children were reported missing at 1.30am on Monday, he made a phone call to a family member and was in a very distressed state, heightening the concerns for his and his children’s safety.