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Sunday 22 July 2018

Joanne Lee murder: Gardaí attempting to trace 'American woman with whom estranged husband claimed he was having affair'

  • Investigating gardaí now attempting to trace 'American woman' with whom estranged husband claimed he was having an affair
  • It is believed Joanne discovered he was having the affair and had confronted him about it
  • Gardaí believe Keith Lee lived with his dead wife's body in the wardrobe for at least 48 hours
  • Sister's grief as gardaí wait to quiz Joanne's husband
Tragic Joanne Lee (Inset: The entrance to the building in which her body was discovered in a wardrobe)
Tragic Joanne Lee (Inset: The entrance to the building in which her body was discovered in a wardrobe)
Tragedy: Joanne Lee
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Gardaí investigating the murder of Joanne Lee are now attempting to trace an American woman with whom her estranged husband claimed he was having an affair.

The body of Ms Lee (38) was found in dramatic circumstances last Thursday when gardaí broke into a flat in Ranelagh, Dublin, after being refused entry.

Ms Lee's estranged husband Keith Lee, the main suspect in her murder, then jumped out of a third-floor window of the property, breaking his legs in the impact with the ground.

He then pulled out a Stanley blade and started cutting his arms.

Joanne’s uncle John Curry breaks down while talking to the media. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Joanne’s uncle John Curry breaks down while talking to the media. Picture: Caroline Quinn

It was reported in the 'Sunday World' that Ms Lee's marriage had broken down after she discovered her husband was having a drug-fuelled affair with an American woman.

A source revealed that detectives are now attempting to trace that woman.

It is believed Ms Lee discovered he was having the affair and had confronted him about it.

Gardaí also believe Mr Lee's life had descended into drug-fuelled chaos.

Until relatively recently, Mr Lee had been working in a well-known city-centre hotel, where he was a chef.

However, he had been drinking heavily, was no longer employed and is believed to have become involved in the drugs trade.

Joanne Lee death
Joanne Lee death

In November, he was arrested following an undercover drugs bust in a popular Temple Bar nightclub after being found in possession of cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine.

Mr Lee had not been on gardaí's radar before the raid and, a source claimed, they were surprised at that amount of drugs recovered - estimated to be worth more than €11,000.

Supt Gerry Delmar from Donnybrook Garda Station pictured outside the house on Ranelagh Road where the body of Jaonne Lee was discovered. Photo Credit: Frank Mc Grath
Supt Gerry Delmar from Donnybrook Garda Station pictured outside the house on Ranelagh Road where the body of Jaonne Lee was discovered. Photo Credit: Frank Mc Grath

Last Tuesday, Mr Lee arrived in a city-centre Garda station and made a missing person's report for Ms Lee.

Gardaí discovered the body of Ms Lee, wrapped in bed clothing and a sleeping bag, in the wardrobe. She also had a bag over her head.

She was so tightly wrapped that gardaí believe she was to be moved again.

A post-mortem examination found that Ms Lee had been killed by strangulation and was dead since at least last weekend.

Gardaí believe Mr Lee lived with his dead wife's body in the wardrobe for at least 48 hours before he jumped from the window on Thursday afternoon.

Mr Lee is reported to have made certain admissions to gardaí before being taken to St James's Hospital where he remains under armed guard while he receives treatment for his injuries.

The Irish Independent understands it may be some days before he will be quizzed about her murder.

Over the weekend, forensic teams continued their investigation at the property in Ranelagh Road where Ms Lee's body was discovered.

Meanwhile, the grief-stricken sister of Joanne expressed her sadness and pain on social media last night as friends continued to offer their condolences to her.

Jennifer Ball revealed her ongoing heartbreak in a Facebook message as friends rallied to support her while gardaí try to work out Ms Lee's last movements.

At the weekend, Ms Ball posted five heartbroken emojis on her Facebook page.

Friends posted tributes to Ms Lee and messages of support for Ms Ball including one pal who described the situation as "devastating". She posted: "Jen dont know wat to say it's just devastating I'm thinkin of u an yr family xXx."

Irish Independent

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