Belfast Telegraph

Murder probe launched as body of man (45) is found at Lurgan flats

By David Young

Police have launched a murder investigation after the body of a 45-year-old man was discovered in a Lurgan apartment block yesterday afternoon.

Police were called to the scene on Victoria Street, where officers discovered the victim, who is believed to have been Lithuanian. No details of his injuries were released.

Another 45-year-old man, also believed to be a Lithuanian national, was arrested and at the time of going to press was in custody helping police with their inquiries.

Yesterday's grim discovery took place in the same apartment complex where the body of dental nurse Laura Marshall (21) was found just over a year ago in an unrelated incident.

Local DUP MLA Carla Lockhart said the whole community had been stunned by the news.

She said: "This is horrendous news. My thoughts are with those now mourning the loss of a loved one. I sympathise and assure them of my prayers.

"Local residents are in shock and the area is currently cordoned off with PSNI investigations ongoing.

"I have spoken with the police and been briefed about their lines of inquiry.

"I would encourage anyone who has any information to come forward and report it to the PSNI."

Last night a police spokesman said detectives from Serious Crime Branch had begun a murder investigation.

Detective Inspector Darren McCartney said: "Police received the report of the death shortly after 2.15pm this afternoon.

"A 45-year-old man has been arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and he remains in police custody at this time.

"I am appealing for anyone with any information that can assist with the investigation to contact detectives in Lurgan on 101, quoting reference number 769 of 06/08/17. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

The flats complex is situated in the former Johnston Allen linen factory, and is occupied mainly by single people, according to local sources.

Local Sinn Fein councillor Keith Haughian said everyone in the densely-populated area was in total shock at the discovery of the man's body.

"This is a tragedy. My thoughts go out to the family of the victim - and to the family of Laura Marshall, whose body was found in the same building last year.

"This crime must also bring back dreadful memories for them," he said.

SDLP Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly offered condolences to the dead man's family.

She also voiced concern about a recent upsurge in crime in the area.

"This was a quiet residential area for many years," she commented, "but in recent years there has been a worrying increase in the number of violent deaths in the Lurgan area - often related to domestic abuse, and with alcohol involved."

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