A teenager died by suicide three months after he was drugged and raped while on holiday in Greece, an inquest has found.
Julie Crowe, 18, of Porterstown Lane, Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath, Ireland, died as a result of injuries sustained when she fell from a bridge over the M3 motorway near Rathbeggan Lakes on November 4, 2019 jumped.
A sitting of the Dublin District Coroner’s Court heard on Thursday the tragic circumstances in which Julie developed a bad temper and thoughts of self-harm after being drugged and raped during a holiday abroad with friends in August 2019.
Investigators were also told that gardaí had received no further feedback on the progress of the criminal investigation in Greece, despite Julie making several inquiries after submitting a statement to her 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 wasn’t sleeping.
18-year-old teenager Julie Crowe (pictured) died by suicide three months after she was drugged and raped while on holiday in Greece, an inquest heard
Julie Crowe (pictured), 18, of Porterstown Lane, Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath, Ireland, died as a result of injuries sustained when she fell from a bridge over the M3 motorway on November 4, 2019 near Rathbeggan Lakes
Mr Crowe recalled that she was dazed and appeared “very subdued and very distant” when he woke her at around 12.20pm.
He said she apologized for the cost of a trip to the United States from which they had recently returned.
Mr Crowe said he hugged his daughter to try to bring her “out of her daze”.
As Julie went to shower, Mr Crowe said he noticed a note on her bed which he thought was part of a diary.
When he checked on her at around 2.15pm, Mr Crowe said he could not find his daughter anywhere in the house, before calling his wife and expressing his concern that Julie had run away.
At this point he remembered the note and upon reading it realized that it contained a reference to Rathbeggan Lakes.
When he arrived at the flyover, Mr Crowe said he saw traffic passing on the motorway before he saw his daughter lying on the ground.
Attempts by her father and passers-by to revive her were unsuccessful.
A passing motorist, Jonathan Madden, told the inquest how he dialed 999 after traveling on the M3 and noticed a girl standing in front of the railings of the flyover bridge.
Mr Madden said he exited the motorway at the next junction to return to the bridge, but when he arrived at the scene the girl was lying face down on the ground.
The investigation revealed that it was a very rainy day with poor visibility.
Garda Jeffrey Moroney said CCTV footage of the bridge had corroborated the evidence provided by eyewitnesses and the investigation into the case was complete.
Julie’s mother, Anna Crowe, gave evidence to gardaí at Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown (CHB) that she had officially identified her daughter’s body.
Ms Crowe said she was called by her husband Gary at around 2.20pm to say Julie was at the M3 bridge.
When she arrived at the scene, Ms Crowe said she found her daughter lying on the highway and had no pulse.
Ms Crowe said she and her husband waited in a patrol car while paramedics attended to them before being taken to hospital.
The inquest heard that the family were informed by medical staff at 3.50pm that Julie had suffered catastrophic injuries that she would not survive and that she was pronounced dead nine minutes later.
The results of the autopsy confirmed that Julie had suffered head injuries resulting from a fall from a height.
In January 2020, Ms Crowe spoke about her daughter’s death on RTÉ’s Liveline program to warn others that there were predators targeting little boys and girls.
She described how Julie learned through conversations with friends that she had been raped while on the Greek island of Zakynthos.
Omer Chaudhary, a psychiatrist who examined Julie at the CHB emergency room on October 21, 2019, said he diagnosed her with post-traumatic stress disorder and a moderate depressive episode.
Dr. Chaudhary said Julie also came out as gay to her friends and family in June 2019 after returning from her vacation in Greece.
He recalled that the teenager complained that he had not been able to cope with things over the past two weeks and had increasingly suffered from nightmares.
However, Dr. Chaudhary, she did not show any active intent or intent to kill herself.
The psychiatrist said she was positive about her family and her studies at Technological University Dublin.
He said Julie also recognized her symptoms and triggers and that she needed professional help to recover but believed she had a bright future.
The inquest found that Julie refused to be voluntarily admitted to hospital and that she did not meet the criteria for involuntary detention as she was at low to moderate risk of self-harm.
Anna (second left) and Gary Crowe, parents of the late Julie Crowe, pictured this afternoon, leave Dublin County Coroner’s Court after giving evidence at the inquest into the 18-year-old’s death
Dr. Chaudhary said the teenager eventually decided to see her GP to discuss taking antidepressants and get a referral to the local child and adolescent mental health unit.
Ms Crowe said Julie visited her GP the next day, who warned her that she needed to be closely monitored while taking the medication.
She also revealed that her daughter feared she might be pregnant as a result of the rape, but investigations showed this was not the case.
Detective Garda Michelle O’Brien told the inquest she spent two “long and difficult” days obtaining a very detailed statement from the teenager about events in Greece.
Det 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 updates on the status of the Greek police investigation despite repeated requests.
Det Garda O’Brien said she was unable to contact her Greek colleagues directly.
She also stated that she would not be able to interview Julie’s friends, who might also provide evidence, unless she received instructions from the Greek authorities.
At the end of the evidence, the Crowe family called for greater clarity about the ability of gardaí to support and review the progress of police investigations abroad.
They also recommended that organizations working with victims of sexual assault should work with parents who advocate for their raped children, regardless of their age.
Ms Crowe explained that the Dublin Rape Crisis Center was hesitant to speak to her about getting a more urgent appointment for her daughter because Julie was over 18 and needed to contact them herself.
The coroner said she would communicate the family’s concerns to the relevant authorities and keep them informed of any response.
Ms Gannon ruled based on the evidence that she died by suicide.
The coroner expressed her condolences to the Crowe family, saying it was “a very, very tragic case in very sad circumstances”.
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