MUR­DERED MARIE LAY DEAD FOR TWO YEARS

Man, 23, ar­rested as fam­ily of OAP ap­peal for jus­tice

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - FRONT PAGE - BY RYAN SMITH and MAU­RICE FITZ­MAU­RICE

PO­LICE have launched a mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter re­veal­ing a pen­sioner may have lain dead in her bed for more than two years.

A 23-year-old man is be­ing ques­tioned by the PSNI af­ter the body of Marie Con­lon, 68, was dis­cov­ered at her Lark­spur Rise home in West Belfast.

A fam­ily state­ment said yes­ter­day: “Marie was very much loved and will be mourned greatly. She was a very in­de­pen­dent per­son. We hope and pray jus­tice will be done.”

THE fam­ily of a wo­man who was found dead in her bed last Fri­day are “try­ing to come to terms” with their loss.

Cops be­lieve Marie Con­lon, 68, may have lain undis­cov­ered for more than two years at her home in Lark­spur Rise, West Belfast.

A mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched on Wed­nes­day and a 23-year-old man has been ar­rested.

Sinn Fein coun­cil­lor Stephen Ma­gen­nis, a cousin of Ms Con­lon, said the rel­a­tives were “try­ing to come to terms with all they are be­ing told”.

A state­ment re­leased by Marie’s fam­ily yes­ter­day read: “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. “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 she had been de­ceased.

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

“We have been work­ing closely with the PSNI to bring this dev­as­tat­ing sit­u­a­tion to an end.

“We hope and pray jus­tice will be done and ask for pri­vacy as we grieve the loss of our sis­ter.”

Mr Ma­gen­nis added: “It’s dif­fi­cult enough that Marie’s been found dead, but for the fam­ily to be told she may have been mur­dered. On top of that hear­ing she may have been dead for two years.

“It’s ob­vi­ously a very dif­fi­cult time and they’re just wait­ing to hear what they can from the po­lice.

“Marie was a very pri­vate per­son and they’re a pri­vate fam­ily so this is a lot to take in. We would re­it­er­ate the po­lice’s call for any­one who has any in­for­ma­tion to please come for­ward.”

De­tec­tive Chief In­spec­tor Alan Dick­son said: “Au­thor­i­ties were alerted on Fri­day af­ter con­cerns were raised about the wel­fare of Ms Con­lon.

“Of­fi­cers forced en­try to her Lark­spur Rise home and dis­cov­ered her de­ceased in bed. It was ap­par­ent she had lain undis­cov­ered for some time. A post­mortem was car­ried out and the re­sults sug­gest the death may have been sus­pi­cious.

“De­tec­tives have es­tab­lished the last known sight­ing of Ms Con­lon was in Jan­uary 2015.

“It is our be­lief her death may have oc­curred at around this time.

“We have launched a mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion and a 23-year-old man has been ar­rested. He was de­tained in the West Belfast area and re­mains in cus­tody.” Sinn Fein’s Alex Maskey has said res­i­dents of West Belfast are “shocked” by the death of Marie.

The West Belfast MLA added: “The lo­cal com­mu­nity are deeply up­set and sad­dened.

“I would ap­peal to any­one with in­for­ma­tion to bring it to the PSNI.”

Of­fi­cers found her de­ceased in bed. The death may have been sus­pi­cious DCI ALAN DICK­SON ON WED­NES­DAY

PROBE Foren­sics in West Belfast yes­ter­day

FOREN­SICS Po­lice forced en­try into West Belfast home MUR­DER PROBE Foren­sics team on Wed­nes­day

DIS­COV­ERY Ms Con­lon’s home in Lark­spur Rise

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