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Friday 25 May 2018

Husband held after missing wife's body found in woods

Detectives believe that she may have been killed in a 'crime of passion'

Rafal and Natalia Karaczyn: he has been held over the murder of his wife
Rafal and Natalia Karaczyn: he has been held over the murder of his wife

Robin Schiller and Ken Foy

GARDAÍ were last night quizzing a man in connection with the murder of his wife, who was reported missing two days earlier.

Rafal Karaczyn (32) was arrested for a second time yesterday morning by gardaí investigating the disappearance and subsequent death of his wife.

The body of Natalia Karaczyn (30) was recovered near Lough Gill, Co Sligo, shortly after 10am yesterday following a large-scale search effort by local gardaí.

The mother-of-three had been missing for more than 48 hours after returning to her home in Crozon Park from a night out with friends on Sunday morning.

Her husband, fellow Polish national Rafal Karaczyn, was initially arrested later that evening while his wife was still missing.

He was questioned for a over 24 hours before being released without charge after 5am yesterday.

Natalia Karaczyn
Natalia Karaczyn

Body

However, it is understood that he was contacted by associates of his late wife, who persuaded him to return to gardaí.

Mr Karaczyn was then re-arrested by gardaí.

Shortly after 10am, the body of a woman, since identified as Ms Karaczyn, was recovered near Lough Gill, over 2km from where she was last seen.

Early indications yesterday were that the young woman died from injuries consistent with strangulation.

Detectives believe that she may have been killed in a "crime of passion".

As part of the investigation, gardaí gathered CCTV footage from properties and businesses near Crozon Park.

According to her family, footage from a pub near their home shows Ms Karaczyn walking along the road at 6.30am on Sunday.

Gardai at the scene near Lough Gill where the body of Natalia Karaczyn was found
Gardai at the scene near Lough Gill where the body of Natalia Karaczyn was found

Separate images from a neighbour's property show a vehicle leaving the Crozon Park area that same morning, before returning a short time later.

This vehicle was seized yesterday afternoon by gardaí and will be forensically examined.

Chief Supt Aidan Glackin of the Sligo/Leitrim Garda division said the Garda investigation was still "live" following the discovery of the female body.

"As you are aware, this find comes from the reporting of a missing young lady to us on Sunday morning," Chief Supt Glackin told reporters at the scene on Holywell Road.

"We have worked earnestly with the community in Sligo to try to find that person.

"As I said, we've got great help from the community and this has led to this discovery here today.

"We have a male currently being detained at Ballymote garda station.

Sensitivities

"The investigation is still very live but I do want to reiterate that there are sensitivities here, there's privacies that need to be afforded to the families that are involved.

"I want to thank the community in Sligo for great assistance we've got and I can't stress that enough.

"I want to thank the earnest and diligent work that An Garda Síochána in the Sligo/Leitrim division have done to bring us to this stage."

Supt Glackin described what happened as a "tragic event" and added that a family liaison officer had been appointed to Ms Karaczyn's family, who are being kept informed of updates in the investigation.

"It's a tragic event. All we can do at this stage is progress the outcome in its current state and it's live.

"It is the body of a female.

"We have to respect the examination, post-mortem, that's taking place by the State pathologist and there are many, many people that are going to be affected by this and are affected by this so we just have to wait for that.

"She is a young Polish lady, she was a mother of three children, living in Sligo.

"She went out socialising on Saturday night and hasn't been seen since.

"We had family liaison officer and are in communication with the family of the missing person and they're fully informed, as they're entitled to be, into the current status of the investigation."

On Monday, her family made a heartfelt plea for information on her disappearance.

Ms Karaczyn's sister Magdalena McMorrow wrote on social media: "My sister Natalia went out last night [Saturday] and has not come back.

Examinations

"Please, if you have any information, seen her, or maybe have CCTV outside you house in the area, get in touch with Sligo garda station or myself."

A section of roadway on the Holywell Road remained sealed off yesterday as gardaí carried out a number of examinations.

The body was removed from the scene shortly after 2pm and brought to Sligo University Hospital where a full post-mortem examination was expected to be carried out.

Officers from the Garda Dog Unit were also requested to the scene, and dogs were brought in to search the area after the body was removed.

Last night Mr Karaczyn was continuing to be questioned at Ballymote garda station in relation to his wife's murder.

Irish Independent

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