Monday 16 July 2018

Man to be charged with preventing burial of a body as woman found more than two years after she died

Forensics at the home of 68-year-old Marie Conlon in the Larkspur Rise area after they discovered her body, October 12th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Forensics at the home of 68-year-old Marie Conlon in the Larkspur Rise area after they discovered her body, October 12th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Michael McHugh

A man has been charged with theft and preventing the burial of a body after a woman was found in bed more than two years after she died in Northern Ireland.

The 23-year-old is also accused of fraud and burglary after Marie Conlon, 68, was discovered at a flat in West Belfast a week ago.

He is due to appear at Belfast Magistrates' Court next month but is no longer suspected of murder.

Police had forced entry to her home in Larkspur Rise and discovered her body in her bed.

Forensic examinations continue to establish the cause of death.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) statement confirmed: "The 23-year-old man arrested by detectives investigating the death of 68-year-old Marie Conlon has been charged with offences related to theft, fraud, burglary and preventing the lawful burial of a body."

A post-mortem examination was carried out recently and the results suggested that the death may have been suspicious.

Ms Conlon was last seen in January 2015 and police believe her death occurred then.

Her family said she was a "beloved sister" and would be greatly mourned.

In a statement, Ms Conlon's family said: "We are shocked and heartbroken to learn about the loss of our beloved sister, Marie Conlon.

"The tragic circumstances of her death make it all the more difficult to comprehend and accept. Marie was very much loved by her family and will be mourned greatly. She was a very independent person."

They said "numerous attempts had been made to contact her in person, and by other means, over the course of the past two years but at no point were suspicions raised that she had been deceased.

"It is only with hindsight that the unimaginable now seems possible."

Ms Conlon's family are working closely with the PSNI in their investigation, they added: "We hope and pray that justice will be done and ask for privacy as we grieve the loss of our sister."

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