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Man (40) arrested after murder of elderly couple in Portadown home

  • Police launch murder probe after brutal killing
  • One man is in custody
  • Family car belonging to the deceased was stolen from their house
  • Extra police patrols to be deployed in the Portadown area

A 40-year-old man has been arrested by detectives investigating the brutal murder of two elderly pensioners in their home in Portadown, Co Armagh.

Police have cordoned off the scene of the incident in the Upper Ramone Park area of the town.

It's understood the couple, aged in their 80s, were stabbed to death.

A relative found their bodies at the house, which is located in a quiet residential area close to Craigavon Area Hospital.

Police and the ambulance service were called to the scene at around 3.40pm on Friday.

“On arrival, officers found the bodies of an elderly man and woman in the house.  We are treating their deaths as murder,” Detective Superintendent Kevin Geddes said on Friday night.

Police revealed the family car belonging to the deceased was stolen from their house on Friday.

The PSNI received a report of a man breaking into a car in the area at around 12.20pm.

“The family car belonging to the deceased, a grey Renault Kango van, registration NJZ 6101 was taken from the house and later found at around 5pm in the Edenderry Gardens area,” Detective Supt Geddes said.

“We need to know the movements of this car from the time it left Upper Ramone Park until it was recovered in Edenderry Gardens.” 

A man is in police custody after being detained at around 5pm in the Springfields area of Portadown.

I would reassure the public that we now have one person in custody and we will have extra police patrols in the Portadown area. Detective Supt Geddes

Ulster Unionist candidate Doug Beattie, who attended the scene, said there is shock among the residents in the town.

"This is truly shocking... beyond comprehension," said the MLA.

"My thoughts go to the family and the local community.

"This is a small cul-de-sac and you can see it in their faces, this incident has ripped apart this quiet community."

Outgoing DUP MP David Simpson said: "My thoughts and prayers are with the family. This is obviously alarming news from a quiet residential area - this is an absolutely horrific incident."

A family member was the first to find them and we can only begin to imagine the shock, heartbreak and pain this has caused. David Simpson

He added: "It is important the family receive time and space to grieve the loss of two parents in such tragic circumstances."

SDLP councillor Declan McAlinden described the murder as a "heinous crime" that has shocked the entire community.

He said: "It’s difficult to find the words to describe a heinous crime like this. The entire community is just in shock that someone could murder an elderly couple in their own home like this.

“It’s clear that this is an atrocious crime in what is a quiet residential area.

Detectives are appealing for anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the Upper Ramone Park, the Edenderry or Springfields areas between 11am and 5pm to get in touch with them.

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