THE family of missing Belfast mother Jean McConville are facing further heartache amid speculation that her body may have been mutilated before she was killed by the IRA.
Mother of 10, Mrs McConville was abducted and murdered by the Provisional IRA in 1972 after she had gone to the aid of a fatally wounded British soldier outside her home in the Lower Falls area of West Belfast.
Interviewed on BBC Radio Ulster yesterday the dead woman's daughter, Helen McKendry, said the family had overheard that fingers were missing from her mother's body. She said the family feared that the body of her mother would be found mutilated because of the torture she was probably subjected to before being killed.
Mrs McKendry said the family believed the IRA may have cut off their mother's fingers to remove her rings which were returned to relatives shortly after she disappeared.
Mrs McConville's body was secretly buried during the 1970's. Her family are still awaiting DNA confirmation that the remains of a woman found at Shelling Hill beach near Carlingford in Co Louth in late August this year are those of their mother.