Hook murder: Police step up hunt for killer after frail grandad loses battle for life
A murder investigation has been launched following the death of a frail and disabled grandfather who was stabbed as he lay in bed in his home three months ago.
Eugene Carr, who was in his 70s, lost his fight for life in hospital after the assault in which the gang of intruders damaged his liver, spleen and abdomen.
Police believe the widower may have been stabbed with a hook during the burglary.
He passed away at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on Tuesday three months after the robbery at his home in Clogharevan Park, Bessbrook, on August 31.
Launching the murder investigation, senior investigating officer Chief Inspector Lee McNevison, said: "This elderly and vulnerable man was the victim of a horrendous attack while he was in his bed at his home in Clogharevan Park.
A post-mortem will be carried out in due course, however we believe at this stage that he died from the injuries he received following the violent aggravated burglary."
His family, including daughters and a son, had been travelling up and down to the hospital for weeks in the hope the pensioner from Co Armagh would pull through.
He was described as a "very simple, quiet man, who wouldn't hurt anyone".
Despite his mobility issues, Mr Carr was often seen going to the shop to buy his newspapers.
Roisin Mulgrew, a Sinn Fein councillor for the area, said Mr Carr's family were heartbroken and exhausted.
She said: "In all these sorts of cases, myself as a representative and we as a party would say that anybody with any information needs to come forward and support the police in their investigation. In the background the family has had a lot to deal with in terms of getting their father home and burying him. The community will be there to support them over the next few days and beyond.
"Police now have their job to do and I know the community will support them. Eugene was a very gentle and lovely person, and on social media everyone has been making lovely comments and tributes about him.
"People are very sad and are mindful that the family have suffered a lot, and we want to give them support and space to deal with this over the next few days.
"It's horrific what happened, and no one would want to be in this position. The community will be there and we need to give police the space and time to do their job.
"The family are exhausted and really sad. I spoke to one of his daughters and she is devastated and tired. The family have lost their father."
Father Sean Larkin, who knew Mr Carr, said the pensioner had put up a "long and courageous fight" while in hospital. He added that while his death was sad, "in some ways" it may have been a blessing as he was "low and weak".
More than 100 people took to Facebook to express their shock and heartbreak at his death.
Carmel Torrens said: "R.I.P Eugene Carr you will be sadly missed. Our prayers and thoughts go out to all his family and friends."
Fiona Small also wrote: "RIP Eugene, thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at the sad and difficult time."
A 25-year-old woman and a 26-year-old man arrested in the Newry area on September 4 in relation to the attack were later released on police bail pending further enquiries.