A teenage girl killed herself three months after being drugged and raped while on holiday in Greece, an inquest has heard.
Julie Crowe, 18, of Porterstown Lane, Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath, Ireland, died of injuries sustained after jumping from a bridge over the M3 motorway near Rathbeggan Lakes on November 4, 2019.
A Dublin District Coroner’s Court hearing on Thursday heard the tragic circumstances in which Julie had developed a bad temper and thoughts of self-harm after being drugged and raped while on holiday abroad with friends in August 2019.
The inquest was also told that Gardaí had not received any further feedback on the progress of a criminal investigation in Greece, despite several requests after providing a statement from Julie to their Greek counterparts via Interpol.
Julie’s father, Gary Crowe, told the inquest he decided to work from home on the morning of November 4, 2019 because his daughter had not slept.
Teenager Julie Crowe (pictured), 18, killed herself three months after she was drugged and raped while on holiday in Greece, an inquest has heard
Julie Crowe (pictured), 18, of Porterstown Lane, Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath, Ireland, died from injuries sustained after jumping from a bridge over the M3 motorway near Rathbeggan Lakes on November 4 2019.
Mr Crowe recalled she was groggy and sounded ‘very sober and very detached’ when he woke her at around 12.20pm.
He said she apologized for the expenses associated with a trip to the United States from which they had recently returned.
Mr Crowe said he hugged his daughter to try and get her ‘out of her mind’.
As Julie went to take a shower, Mr Crowe said he noticed a note on her bed which he said was part of a diary.
When he went to see her at around 2.15pm, Mr Crowe said he could not find his daughter anywhere in the house before calling his wife to express his concern about Julie running away.
At that time, he remembered the note and discovered it had a reference to Rathbeggan Lakes when he read it.
When he arrived at the flyover, Mr Crowe said he saw vehicles pull up on the highway before spotting his daughter lying on the ground.
Attempts to resuscitate her father and bystanders failed.
A passing motorist, Jonathan Madden, told the inquest he dialed 999 after driving down the M3 and noticed a girl standing in front of the airlift railing.
Mr Madden said he left the freeway at the next junction to head back to the bridge, but the girl was lying face down when he arrived at the scene.
The investigation revealed that it was a very rainy day with poor visibility.
Garda Jeffrey Moroney said CCTV footage from the bridge confirmed evidence provided by eyewitnesses and the investigation into the matter was closed.
Julie’s mother, Anna Crowe, testified that she had officially identified her daughter’s body to police at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown (CHB).
Ms Crowe said her husband, Gary, phoned her around 2.20pm to tell her Julie was at the M3 bridge.
When she arrived at the scene, Ms Crowe said she found her daughter lying on the highway and could not detect a pulse.
Ms Crowe said she and her husband waited in a patrol car while paramedics attended to her before being taken to hospital.
The inquest heard the family were told at 3.50pm by medical staff that Julie had suffered catastrophic injuries which she would not survive and was pronounced dead nine minutes later.
Autopsy results confirmed that Julie had sustained head injuries consistent with a fall from a height.
In January 2020, Ms Crowe spoke about her daughter’s death on RTÉ’s Liveline show to warn others that there were predators targeting young boys and girls.
She explained how Julie realized while chatting with friends that she had been raped during their stay on the Greek island of Zakynthos.
Omer Chaudhary, a psychiatrist who examined Julie in the CHB emergency room on October 21, 2019, said he diagnosed her with post-traumatic stress disorder and a mild depressive episode.
Dr Chaudhary said Julie also came out as gay to her friends in June 2019 and family after returning from her holiday in Greece.
He recalled the teenager complaining of not being able to handle things for the previous two weeks and suffering from increasing nightmares.
However, Dr Chaudhary said she showed no active intention or plan to take her own life.
The psychiatrist said she was positive about her family and her studies at Dublin’s University of Technology.
He said Julie also recognized her symptoms and triggers and needed professional help to get better, but believed she had a bright future.
The investigation revealed that Julie refused to be admitted to hospital on a voluntary basis and that she did not meet the criteria to be detained involuntarily, as she was only considered to be at low risk of self-harm. to moderate.
Anna (second left) and Gary Crowe, parents of the late Julie Crowe, pictured leaving Dublin District Coroner’s Court this afternoon after giving evidence at the inquest into the death of an 18-year-old.
Dr Chaudhary said the teenager eventually decided to see her GP to discuss taking anti-depressant medication and to be referred to her local child and adolescent mental health service unit.
Ms Crowe said Julie saw her family doctor the following day, who warned her that she would need to be closely monitored while taking medication.
She also revealed that her daughter feared she was pregnant as a result of the rape, but tests showed that was not the case.
Garda Detective Michelle O’Brien told the inquest she spent two “long and difficult” days taking a very detailed statement from the teenager about what happened in Greece.
Detective Garda O’Brien said she also kept the girl’s towel and runners as evidence.
In response to questions from coroner Aisling Gannon, she said she had not received any information on the status of the investigation from Greek police, despite sending several requests.
Detective Garda O’Brien said she could not directly interact with her Greek colleagues.
She also said she could not interview Julie’s friends, who might also be able to provide evidence unless she received an instruction from the Greek authorities.
At the end of the testimony, the Crowe family asked for more clarity on the ability of the gardaí to assist and monitor the progress of police investigations abroad.
They also recommended that organizations that deal with victims of sexual assault engage with parents who advocate for their raped children, regardless of age.
Ms Crowe explained that the Dublin Rape Crisis Center had been reluctant to talk to her about trying to get her daughter a more urgent appointment because Julie was over 18 and needed to contact them herself.
The coroner said she would raise the family’s concerns with the appropriate authorities and keep them informed of any response.
Ms Gannon returned a verdict of death by suicide based on the evidence.
Offering his condolences to the Crowe family, the coroner said it was a “very, very tragic case in very sad circumstances”.
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