Sunday 25 June 2017

Murdered man's body won't be released till new year

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

THE body of an Englishman who was murdered and dumped into an Irish river won't be released to his family until the new year.

The body of John Forrester (42) has been at the morgue in Cork University Hospital (CUH) for almost a month -- with his funeral now unlikely to be staged until mid-January.

The Irish Independent has learnt that the remains of the father of four will not be released until all forensic and pathology test results have been received by gardai.

Because of the complex nature of Mr Forrester's murder probe, and the fact detectives are dealing with two crime scenes, the full lab results are not expected for several weeks.

Detectives already have some preliminary results but gardai and the Cork County Coroner will only release the body when they are satisfied no follow-on tests will be required.

Bound

Mr Forrester -- a native of Blackpool in Lancashire, England -- was recovered from the River Bandon in west Cork on November 15. His hands and feet were bound and he had been wrapped in a rug.

He died from multiple stab injuries to his head and neck sustained in what was described as a frenzied attack.

Gardai had great difficulty in tracing Mr Forrester's family in the UK given that he had lived a transient lifestyle for almost two decades.

He had had no contact with his four children for years.

Gardai and Lancashire police eventually traced his family in both Blackpool and Lincoln and his sister, niece and nephew visited west Cork last month.

Mr Forrester's aunt, Joyce, speaking from the UK, said he had been a loner for most of his adult life.

"The last I knew he was working in Spain as a ski instructor," she said.

His relatives have no idea why he relocated to Ireland.

The Forrester family laid a wreath at the spot where his body was recovered -- and then had a meeting with Michelle Duke whose son, Jonathan (27), was recovered from the same river just 36 hours before Mr Forrester.

Two people are now before the courts charged with Mr Duke's murder.

Both Mr Duke and Mr Forrester lived in the same building -- Bridge House -- in Bandon which overlooks the river.

Mr Forrester was nicknamed 'Johnny English' and 'Rambler' in Bandon and suffered from a chronic alcohol problem.

It is unclear whether his remains will be buried in Ireland or repatriated to the UK.

Irish Independent

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