Northern Ireland news

Murder probe launched after body found in Maghera

The PSNI has launched a murder investigation after the body of Polish man Piotr Krowka was found in Maghera on Tuesday
Connla Young

The PSNI has launched a murder investigation after the body of a homeless Polish man was found in a Co Derry Town.

It is believed Piotr Krowka (36) died after receiving a sustained beating.

His body was found at a disused church property on the Glen Road in Maghera on Tuesday.

Police last night said the dead man had suffered serious injuries to his head and body.

Police launched a murder investigation after a postmortem examination was carried out on Thursday.

Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Boyce from PSNI Major Investigation Team last night described the victim as a “vulnerable homeless man”.

He said police believed the victim “was sleeping rough in the derelict property”.

“He suffered serious injuries to his head and body and we are working to establish the circumstances of this incident and determine the precise sequence of events that culminated in the tragic death of this man,” he said.

The PSNI man said he wanted to establish Mr Krowka's movements in the days before his death.

“I am keen to identify Piotr's movements between Good Friday and Easter Tuesday when his body was discovered and I would appeal to anyone who was in contact with or who may have witnessed Piotr during this time to please contact us.

“I am also keen to hear from anyone who may have noticed anything suspicious at this house during the timeframe to contact detectives.”

He added that “all lines of enquiry are being followed and the investigation is at an early stage”.

Fr Patrick Doherty said “the parish community is deeply saddened” by his death and that he and his family will be prayed for.

Polish honorary consul Jerome Mullen has said he will offer consular facilities.

It is understood the dead man's sister lives in the Maghera area.

Sinn Féin MLA Ian Milne said: “First and foremost, I want to send my sympathies to the family and friends of the victim.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they deal with the tragic and sudden loss of a loved one.

“Anyone with information about the circumstances surrounding the death should bring it to the PSNI immediately.”

DUP MLA Keith Buchanan said: “I am deeply saddened by the news that a murder investigation is underway in Maghera.

“This is a quiet rural community where neighbours are shocked that a man has been murdered on their doorstep.

“People should help the police with the investigation.

“I know the entire area will be holding this man's family foremost in their thoughts.”

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