Charcoal fumes may have killed fraudster and partner
NORTHERN Ireland fraudster Julia Holmes (63), and her Co Limerick lover Thomas Ruttle (56), died by inhaling fumes from a charcoal barbecue in a sealed bedroom in Mr Ruttle's house, gardaí believe.
The couples' badly decomposed bodies were discovered by members of a Traveller burglar gang who broke into the Ruttle family home in Askeaton, Co Limerick on May 18, last year.
A source has now revealed that the bedroom in which the bodies were discovered had been sealed from the inside, and that a burnt out charcoal BBQ was also found in the room.
The body of Holmes, a grandmother, a serial fraudster and the subject of an international police hunt, was found lying next to Mr Ruttle.
All indications point to a joint suicide pact.
Due to the decomposition of the bodies gardaí were investigating a number of possible causes of death, including fatal gunshot wounds, and liquid poisoning.
Now, 11 months after their deaths, gardaí believe Ms Holmes and Mr Ruttle died by carbon monoxide poisoning.
A six-person jury at Newcastle West Coroner's Court will hear detailed evidence next Monday April 25.