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The story of glowing teenager Ana Kriegel whose troubled life was cruelly cut short

Irish Mirror logoIrish Mirror 19/06/2019 Saoirse McGarrigle
a person smiling for the camera: Ana Kriegel © RTE Ana Kriegel

The beautiful face of a glowing teen sashaying down the catwalk in a school fashion show is the image which captured Ana Kriegel’s love of life.

Her glossy locks are pinned on top of her head as part of her geisha-themed costume and her piercing eyes stun as she blows a kiss to the camera.

But her striking features mask a story of sadness and sorrow.

This photo is no longer just another snap for a school yearbook, it is the face of a child, aged just 14, slain in one of the most barbaric murders to rock this country. Ana is short for Anastasia.

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Her name comes from the Greek word anastasis which means “resurrection”.

And her adoption from Russia to Ireland should have been just that – a rebirth and the beginning of a whole new life.

Ana suffered sight loss and had trouble hearing after an operation to remove a tumour from her ear.

This orphan girl found her way into the loving arms of Geraldine and Patric Kriegel, who up until that point had no children.

a person wearing a hat: Tragic Ana Kriegel © RTE Tragic Ana Kriegel The couple brought their cherished two-year-old toddler home to Leixlip in Co Kildare.

Ana’s fortune had changed. She was rescued from Russia, with love.

Patric, a retired lecturer originally from Paris, relished his new fatherhood and spent most of his time on school runs and making lunches.

a man wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a crowd: Patric and Geraldine Kriegel © Collins Patric and Geraldine Kriegel The heartbroken dad told the court during the 40-day trial: “Her primary years were very happy years. She was a very happy child.”

He described how she was excited to start secondary school in 2017.

“We spent a great summer in France. She had taken on a new resolution to get up early in the mornings.

“She was going to set her own alarm, but it lasted a few days.”

a person smiling for the camera: Ana Kriegel in the black top she was wearing when she was found dead © RTE News Ana Kriegel in the black top she was wearing when she was found dead

A year later this carefree kid would be found brutally murdered in a derelict house in Lucan, Co Dublin, just a short walk away from her home.

Ana was preyed on, lured away from her home and unwittingly led to a violent death by deranged killers younger than her 14 years.

At a striking 5ft 8ins, Ana was tall and strong, a “typical Siberian” her mum Geraldine recalled.

But her hardy build differed greatly to the soft and vulnerable girl trapped inside.

Vicious schoolyard bullying had shattered her confidence. She may have towered over her peers, but they were the ones who had a hold over her.

The true horror of her savage slaughter has hit the headlines daily since two teenage boys went on trial for her murder seven weeks ago.

a woman smiling for the camera: Ana Kriegel © RTE News Ana Kriegel

Most readers remark that it’s “a parent’s worst nightmare” and a nation’s hearts are with the grief-stricken Geraldine and Patric. Ana was a daughter to be proud of. She was a gifted gymnast and strong swimmer.

Dancing and drama was how she expressed her quirky, creative side.

But her shining light dimmed when cruel rivals mocked and tormented her in the months before her death in May last year.

During her testimony, Geraldine described how Ana longed for school pals, but she was always on the outside.

On the first day of the murder trial she told the court her daughter was very vulnerable and despite looking older than her 14 years, she was a “child on the inside”.

a close up of a woman with red hair looking at the camera: Ana Kriegel © Provided by Reach Publishing Services Limited Ana Kriegel

She said: “She looked so much older, but inside she was younger, far younger than her youth. She was trying to make friends all the time. It would have been nice for her to have a best friend.”

While her little girl stood out from the crowd, she was a typical teen in so many ways.

She experimented with different fashion styles and tried out make-up and false nails.

Those same nails snapped off and lay broken on the floor near her body.

She liked to dance, listen to music and would sing aloud in the front room.

Jenny Rissveds smiling for the camera: Tragic Ana Kriegel © Provided by Reach Publishing Services Limited Tragic Ana Kriegel

The mother and daughter bond was watertight.

Ana spent most of her free time at home, but even when she was out they would chat over the phone during the day.

Her home was her safe haven, but even there she could not escape the relentless bullies. She was targeted on social media through her Snapchat and YouTube accounts.

Ana liked to post videos on YouTube of herself but cyberbullies tormented her, with one even commenting he would “have her executed”.

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From the cradle to the grave, Ana Kriegel suffered.

But she never gave up on the hope that one day she would be accepted. Even as she drew her final breath, she refused to quit.

Prosecutor Brendan Grehan said: “Ana suffered a very violent death where she fought for her life.

“There’s no doubt that Ana Kriegel did not simply succumb into unconsciousness.”

More on this story:

Boy A and Boy B have been found guilty of the murder of Ana Kriegel (The Journal)

How two boys were charged with murder after search for missing schoolgirl (Independent.ie)

Ana's wish was to have friends. Instead, the teenager was shunned, bullied and murdered (The Journal)

Ana Kriegel's parents 'showed enormous grace' during murder trial (Independent.ie)

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