The mother of murdered schoolgirl Ana Kriegel was “immediately concerned” when she discovered her daughter had left home with one of the boys accused of killing her, a court has heard.
Geraldine Kriegel said she was left “terrified” after the 14-year-old, who she described as a great communicator, did not respond to her texts or phone calls.
On the second day of the trial at Central Criminal Court in Dublin, Mrs Kreigel said she had texted Ana “home now” and when she failed to respond, she texted her again saying she would “call the police” if she did not answer.
The court heard previously that Ana’s naked body was found in a derelict house in Lucan, Co Dublin, days after she went missing in May last year.
Two boys are standing trial for her murder.
Boy A has pleaded not guilty to the murder and sexual assault “involving serious violence” of the schoolgirl.
Boy B has pleaded not guilty to murder.
Both boys cannot be identified because of their age.
Mrs Kriegel brushed away tears as she recalled the morning of the day Ana disappeared.
“I went to wake her up in the morning as I usually do,” she said.
“She liked when I woke her before I left.”
Mrs Kriegel kissed her daughter goodbye and left for work in Dublin. It was the last time she saw Ana alive.
Later that day, Ana called her mother at 4.02pm and 4.03pm, but she was in a meeting and was not able to answer her phone.
“I text her to say I would phone her as soon as I could. She phoned me all the time, we were always in touch,” she added.
“I took the train home and I tried to ring her after 5pm and it went to the voice answer.
“I didn’t leave a message as I knew I would be home in a few minutes and would see her.”
Mrs Kriegel arrived home at about 5.20pm and went into the back garden where her husband Patric was.
“It was a beautiful day, it very sunny and warm. I asked Patric where Ana was and he said she left the house with (Boy B),” she said.
“I was immediately concerned because no-one calls for Ana. I couldn’t understand. She had no friends.”
Brendan Grehan, senior counsel for the State, asked if it was a source of worry for her.
“Yes,” she replied.
“I text her just two words and said ‘home now’.”
“That was about 5.30pm. I got no answer.
“Myself and Patric had a discussion, I was so worried I said I have to text her, so I said ‘answer me now or I am calling the police’.”
She told the court that she was feeling like a paranoid, overprotective mother and also terrified.
Ms Kriegel went searching for her daughter, looking in ditches and areas where children and teenagers usually hang out.
“I couldn’t see her anywhere,” she said.
Mr and Mrs Kriegel contacted a retired detective who lived close to their home.
He advised them to contact police straight away.
Mrs Kriegel said Ana was a “communicator” and would never ignore her, even if she was annoyed.
“She always responded and she was never late. It was serious alarm bells, I was terrified,” she said.
It emerged on Wednesday that the last call from Ana’s phone was to the place where her mother worked at 5.20pm.
Prosecutors say Ana was dead some 25 minutes later.
Phone records also show that she was last active on WhatsApp at 5.13pm.
The family and gardai spent the day after Ana disappeared searching for her.
“We got up at 5am and and we walked everywhere, we went into ditches and through woods and looked as far as we could,” she added.
While out searching, she saw the gardai with Boy B and another boy she did not recognise.
“The other boy was limping very badly. I didn’t know him,” she added.
On May 17, the garda family liaison officer told them that a girl’s body had been found in a derelict house.
The following day, Mr and Mrs Kriegel identified their daughter’s remains at Dublin City Mortuary.
Ana’s father Patric told the court that her primary school years were “very happy years” but she was then bullied in secondary school in the months before she died.
He said: “They called her weird. Some people did not understand her. She was herself, she was full of fun.
“She couldn’t hate anyone even though some of these people were bullying her.
“She was disappointed by people in how they reacted to her.
“She did not manage to make any friends except for her cousins.”
He said that on the day Ana disappeared he recalled hearing the doorbell shortly before 5pm.
He saw Ana at the front door talking to someone but could not see who it was.
He continued: “She went back upstairs very quickly and when she came back down I said to her ‘Ana you know you are supposed to study’ as she had exams the following week and she said ‘Oh nobody told me that’.
“I said ‘Well OK but don’t be long’ and she answered me back, ‘No, I won’t be long’. I believe she meant it. I knew from the way she way saying ‘No I won’t be long’, she meant exactly that.
“She gave me a big smile when she left. She was happy.
“I forgot to ask where she was going, usually I would ask her and because I forgot I looked out the front window to see which direction she was going and I saw her walking with the boy on the left.
“It was only for a few seconds but I remember he had a small backpack on his back.”
CCTV images were shown to the jury of Ana and Boy B before she disappeared.
Prosecution said that in one image, Boy B could be seen “marching in front of Ana”.
Garda sergeant John Dunne told the court that on the night Ana disappeared, gardai called at the home of Boy B to ask when he last saw her.
In his evidence, Sgt Dunne said Boy B told officers he called to Ana’s home earlier that afternoon and they walked to a local park where he last saw her at about 5.40pm.
The following morning, at about 8.30am, two garda officers returned to Boy B’s home to ask him to retrace the route he took in the park.
It was at this point that he told Sgt Dunne that Boy A was also present.
Sgt Dunne said: “(Boy B) said the meeting was arranged by (Boy A) to let Ana know he was not interested in her. He told gardai that he and Ana met Boy A, they had a chat and basically that was it, he said that they all left (the park).”
Boy B went with Sgt Dunne to the park to show the particular route he and Ana had taken.
Later that afternoon, gardai called to the home of Boy A and asked him to show the route he had taken.
Boy A, who was accompanied by his father, went to the park to retrace his steps. Boy B returned with officers for the second time.
Sgt Dunne said that as they were walking the route, Boy B indicated that he stopped at a certain point and Sgt Dunne said he noticed there was an “obvious look” between the two boys.
He said no words were exchanged.
It was at this point that differences began to emerge between in boys’ stories and the officers decided statements were needed to clarify the route.
The case continues.