Tuesday 22 October 2019

Murder-suicide probe as bodies of mother and daughter and another man found in flat

Murder probe: Police forensic officers enter the apartment complex at Glin Ree Court in Newry, Co Down. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Murder probe: Police forensic officers enter the apartment complex at Glin Ree Court in Newry, Co Down. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Michael McHugh

Police have launched a murder investigation following the deaths of three people in Newry, Co Down.

The bodies of a 37-year-old woman, her 15-year-old daughter and a 38-year-old man were discovered at a flat in Glin Ree Court at 11am yesterday morning.

It is understood they died in a particularly violent way, and one line of inquiry is a double murder and suicide.

The two female victims are understood to be a mother and daughter from Colombia.

The man was reportedly a neighbour of the women and originally from Scotland.

The three bodies have not yet been identified and the cause of death had not been established, according to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Police are investigating the cause of death and post-mortem examinations will take place in due course.

The police were alerted by a relative who had not heard anything for some days and became worried.

They confirmed they are not seeking anyone else in connection with the deaths.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said: "At about 11am, the police received a call from a concerned member of a family worried they had not been in contact with the family member for a number of days.

"Police officers responded to the flat at Glin Ree Court in Newry and forced entry into the flat and found inside the bodies of three people.

"At this stage, we believe the bodies of those of a young female aged approximately 15, a female aged approximately 37, and a male aged approximately 38.

"At this stage, the deceased have not been formally identified and as yet we have no defined cause of death for those individuals.

"I do not believe that anybody else is involved in the deaths of those individuals and I am not currently seeking anybody else in connection with their deaths.

"It is still a very early part of the enquiry and the investigation is ongoing.

"If that position changes we will of course be in touch.

"At this stage we are treating this as a murder investigation. The exact cause of the death with regards to the three individuals is unclear."

Det Supt Murphy said it was not clear when the victims died and what nationality they were.

The PSNI's forensic team attended the scene yesterday afternoon.

Neighbours spoke of their distress at hearing the news.

Locals said that the woman and the teenage girl were believed to be foreign nationals.

Newry and Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin said he had been shocked by the discovery.

"This is an awful tragedy and I understand police have commenced investigations into this very concerning discovery," he said.

"I extend my sincerest sympathy, thoughts and prayers to the wider family of the deceased individuals at this awful time."

SDLP MLA Justin McNulty said a "dark cloud" was hanging over Newry.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased," he said.

"Over the coming hours and days, more will become known but for now this community is stunned and my thoughts are with the families of those who have lost their lives and with this community."

Shockwaves

Local SDLP councillor Michael Savage said that he believed a "very tragic story is unfolding" and said the news had sent "shockwaves across our city and has left many local people unnerved".

Sinn Féin councillor Charlie Casey offered his sympathies to the families of those involved.

"Details are still emerging and a police investigation is under way and that should be allowed to proceed," he said.

"I would encourage anyone with information on this incident to bring it forward to the PSNI."

Floral tributes later began arriving near the flat where the three people died.

An emotional woman visited the cordon with a child who carried a bunch of flowers, but they were not allowed into the sealed-off area.

Irish Independent

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