Thursday 21 September 2017

Neighbours met suspect drenched in blood

Sarah Hines with her son Reece: funeral will take place next week
Sarah Hines with her son Reece: funeral will take place next week

Barry Duggan

THE chief suspect being questioned for the murder of a mother, her two children and another woman returned home covered in blood to clean himself up before he fled the area.

As garda investigations continue in Limerick, up to 500 people gathered at a moving service in Newcastle West last night and prayed for the seven people who died tragically this week and also for the man under arrest for the four Limerick murders.

The scene at Hazlegrove estate where Sarah Hines (25), her baby Amy (five months), infant son Reece (3), and close friend Alicia Brough (20) were stabbed to death on Monday remained sealed off yesterday.

It is understood that the 31-year-old Cork man who is being questioned about the murder of the two women and two children fled from the scene to his home in the nearby Meadowcourt estate to clean off his victims' blood. He covered Reece and his baby sister with a blanket before escaping.

The distance between the horrific murder scene and the man's accommodation is less than a mile. He was spotted walking back to the house -- where he rented a room earlier this month -- by residents.

Seeing his bloodstained clothes, neighbours asked did he need medical assistance, but he declined. He washed up inside the Meadowcourt home and fled to west Clare.

Gardai searched bins in Limerick for clothing which he is suspected of dumping.

Speaking last night, Sarah Hines' stepfather, Peter Rolfe, said her funeral and that of her two children will not take place until next week.

At his home in Feoghnagh, Co Limerick, Mr Rolfe spoke of the harrowing experiences of having to identify the bodies of Sarah, Reece and Amy.

"Seeing the bodies, it was unreal. Nobody needs that. It took so long or so it seemed at the time," Mr Rolfe said.

"It only took two seconds to identify each of the bodies but I had to go out and wait before being called in again. That seemed a long time," he said.

The Hines family -- originally from Essex -- are waiting for relations from England to travel over for the three funerals.

Last night, officers in Limerick were continuing to question the only suspect about the murders after he was released from hospital where he was treated for a hand injury.

Up to 500 people gathered at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Newcastle West last night where four candles were lit for each of Monday's victims and another for the Butler family in Cork.

Irish Independent

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