A WOMAN who is feared by police to be the fourth victim of a multiple killer was known to the prime suspect in the other three cases.
Mother-of-two, Patricia Lynott (47), a native of Athlone, Co Westmeath, worked part-time in a pub in Birmingham with the chief suspect, it was learned last night as detectives from the West Midlands investigation team prepared to fly home from Dublin.
The body of Ms Lynott was exhumed from a cemetery in Athlone yesterday morning and taken to the Dublin city morgue for a fresh post mortem examination by the State Pathologist, Dr John Harbison.
The outcome of the post mortem and toxicology and DNA tests will not be known for a couple of weeks and will indicate whether Ms Lynott had been murdered.
The investigation was re-opened following the arrest of a 35-year-old man from the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham last November in connection to the murder of three women in Birmingham and Droitwich in Worcestershire in November.
The women all died within three days. Two of them, Rosemary Corcoran and Carol Jordan, were beaten to death while Jodie Hyde was strangled and then set alight. Her body was still smouldering when found by police.
West Midlands police travelled here on Monday and made arrangements with the gardai in Athlone for the exhumation of the body through the mutual assistance programme.
Superintendent Kevin Donohoe, of Athlone garda station, later confirmed that the post mortem had been completed.
He said: "The remains have been returned to Athlone and re-interred at a brief service attended by members of her family."