Northern Ireland news

Man charged in connection with discovery of Marie Conlon's body almost three years after her death

Police have launched a murder investigation after the body of 68-year-old Marie Conlon was found at a flat at Larkspur Rise, off the Suffolk Road in west Belfast. Police remained at the scene yesterday. Photo by Mal McCann
Michael McHugh, Press Assocation

A man has been charged with theft, fraud and preventing the burial of a body after a woman was found in bed nearly three years after she died.

The 23-year-old is also accused of 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 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 they saud were "shocked and heartbroken to learn about the loss of our beloved sister".

"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 that 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 that justice will be done and ask for privacy as we grieve the loss of our sister."

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