Deirdre Jacob's disappearance in 1998 treated as murder

Missing poster: 10 year appeal for Deirdre Jacob Image copyright Garda/PA Wire
Image caption Irish police issued this missing person poster in 2008 - 10 years after her disappearance

Irish police investigating the disappearance of teenager Deirdre Jacob in 1998 have launched a murder investigation.

The 18-year-old was last seen walking to her home in Roseberry, Newbridge, County Kildare, on 28 July.

New information and a review of the investigation has resulted in the reclassification of the case.

Last month, her family made an appeal for information on the 20th anniversary of her disappearance.

CCTV footage from the day she disappeared shows the teenager walking on the right side of the screen near shops in Newbridge.

After going to the bank and post office, she started the walk home and was last seen at about 15:00.

She was wearing a dark T-shirt and trousers with white shoes, and was carrying a black canvas bag with a yellow Caterpillar logo, which has never been found.

According to the Irish Broadcaster RTÉ, the police have received new information, which has led them to believe she was murdered either on the day she disappeared or in the days that followed.

Information appeal

On Tuesday, Ch Supt Brian Sutton said Ms Jacob was "a young woman starting off her life, who had just completed one year at St Mary's University, Twickenham, London".

"There are people, I believe, who had information at the time, and maybe their moral compass has changed - they might have children of their own now," he added.

"Think of the Jacob family, think of what they're going through and come forward, and we will handle it with the strictest confidence."

In the past 12 months, there has been a full cold case review.

Some 3,200 lines of inquiry have been conducted by police and 2,500 witness statements have been taken over the past 20 years.