Body of marathon runner was found 'wrapped in plastic' at rear of house in Limerick

Jury hears from colleagues of deceased man

Alison O'Riordan


Alison O'Riordan


Body of marathon runner was found "wrapped in plastic" at rear of house in Castletroy

Monika Matracka has pleaded not guilty to murdering Michal Rejmer in Castletroy in December 2015

THE body of a missing man was found under a sheet of plastic in the back garden of the home he shared with his former partner in Castletroy, a murder trial jury has heard.

Monika Matracka, aged 35, with an address at The Pines, Briarfield has pleaded not guilty to murdering Michal Rejmer (38) at that address at a time unknown between 8pm on December 30 and midnight on December 31, 2015.

Opening the prosecution case on Wednesday, Paul Carroll SC told the court that Ms Matracka told gardai that she stabbed her housemate and former partner in self-defence.

Mr Rejmer was reported missing on January 6, 2016 after colleagues became concerned when he had not turned up for work at McDonald's in Castletroy for a number of days.

He was last seen on December 30, 2015.

In evidence this Thursday Mike Purtell, of Dooneen Athletics Club who said he and Mr Rejmer would meet regularly to go running.

The witness told Mr Carroll that he became aware that Mr Rejmer was missing on January 7, 2016 and he rang Ms Matracka that day.

“I was saying where is Michal and she said don’t worry that the guards are checking the hospitals. She didn’t seem overly concerned,” he said.

The court heard that people from the local athletics clubs wanted to organise a search for Mr Rejmer so Mr Purtell called Limerick Land Search Team and arranged to meet a man called Adrian Kiely outside McDonald’s in Castletroy that same day.

The witness testified that both him and Mr Kiely went to the deceased’s house and Ms Matracka opened the door.

“We went into the sitting room. I noticed on her finger tips she had ashes, her finger tips were black, it looked like copy book being burned,” he said.

Mr Purtell said he was “kind of frustrated” as he and Mr Kiely were asking Ms Matracka what clothes Mr Rejmer had been wearing and she “was saying she didn’t know.”

“I remember saying to her were you not in the house when Michal came in, she said that was easy for me to say as I can go home to my wife while she doesn’t see Michal for three to four days sometimes,” he said.

Mr Purtell said a search party was organised for the following morning, January 8.

The witness agreed with Mark Nicholas SC, defending Ms Matracka, that Mr Rejmer was a “very fit fellow” and he was “breaking three hours” running marathons.

Mr Purtell agreed he gave the deceased a loan of €500 to pay his rent in September, 2015. 

Adrian Kiely, from Limerick Land Search Team, was also called to give evidence this Thursday.

The court heard that he and Mr Purtell went to Mr Rejmer’s house on January 7 as that “was his last known location.”

Mr Kiely said he noticed Ms Matracka was “burning papers” and her laptop was on the table in the sitting room which she used to help her translate their conversation.

The witness said he organised a search party for January 8 and around 26 people met at McDonald’s in Castletroy that morning before splitting up into teams to search different areas.

Mr Kiely and a neighbour of the deceased, Mr Kanios, returned to Mr Rejmer’s house and searched the garden.

“I heard Mr Kanios say something like ‘here here’. I walked towards him, he lifted a piece of plastic back and when I saw what was under it I told him to back away and I called the gardai,” said Mr Kiely.

Mr Kiely said that Mr Rejmer’s body was wrapped in plastic and he “observed the side of a face.”

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Butler and a jury of six men and six women.