Belfast Telegraph

Police probe links to fourth death

Detectives investigating the suspicious deaths of three women in the same town in Northern Ireland are to review the circumstances surrounding another woman's death, police have announced.

Margaret Stronge, 58, who was known as Peggy, was found dead in Dromore, Co Down in 1982.

Last week, officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) announced that the deaths of three other women in Dromore over a ten year period were being treated as suspicious.

Michelle Bickerstaff, 47, died last April; Margaret Weise, 50, was found dead in August 2007 while Lily McKee, 52, died in December 2002.

Last week, stonemason Leslie Ross, 66, from Meganlis Park in Dromore, was remanded in custody at Armagh Magistrates Court after being charged with the murders of Ms Bickerstaff and Ms Weise.

Ross was also charged with indecent assault, gross indecency with a child and indecently assaulting a female child on dates between 1979 and 1990.

His lawyer said he vehemently denies all the counts facing him.

A file on the death of Ms McKee has been referred to the Public Prosecution Service.

Ms Stronge was found dead in Moss Lane in the quiet county town in July 1982.

PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Richard Harkness said her death would be reviewed as part of the overall investigation.

"My officers have advised the Stronge family of this development," he said.

The officer added: "We will progress the review as quickly as possible. I would like to repeat my appeal to the community in Dromore for information about all these deaths. My officers are keen to speak with anyone who may have any information which could assist our inquiries."

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