Belfast Telegraph

Police release trio held after body of man found in stream

By Angela Rainey

Police have released three men held in connection with the death of a Lithuanian national whose body was found in a Portadown stream.

Eimantas Gerdvilas (31) had been missing since last month.

Detectives said yesterday that they are treating his death as suspicious.

Last night, the PSNI said three men — two aged 28 and one aged 30 — arrested after the discovery of Mr Gerdvilas’ body had been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Mr Gerdvilas’ partner, Edita Matij, has identified the body as her boyfriend, who had not been seen since February 12.

He had been living in the Killycomaine area of Portadown when he disappeared,

His body was found in a stream in the Mourneview Street area on Sunday.

A 17-year-old woman who was arrested, then later released, will be reported to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) for withholding information.

Another woman, aged 35, has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Ms Matij appealed on social media to help trace her partner who was last seen in a blue Nike tracksuit and grey puffa coat.

Specialist teams, including the coastguard, were also involved in the search.

Mr Gerdvilas, who had been living here for four years and worked as a production operative at Linden Foods in Dungannon, was found in an area popular with eastern European immigrants.

Ulster Unionist Party councillor Arnold Hatch extended his sympathies to the deceased’s family.

“It’s very sad that this young man was cut down in the prime of his life,” he said.

“People in the area are shocked and there does not seem to be a lot of information on how he died.

“Where his body was found, Thomas Street, is an area where there has been problems of people congregating in one area.

“It has a large immigrant population living there.

“Nonetheless, it is a waste of a life, all life is sacred. Whether he was from here or another country it is a sad loss and sad that such a thing has happened. I extent my sincerest sympathy to his family.”

Police said last night that a formal identification has taken place and detectives are studying the results of a post-mortem examination.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee McNevison said: “We are treating Mr Gerdvilas’ death as suspicious and I am appealing to the community in Portadown for their assistance.

“I want to speak to anyone who saw Eimantas in the Mourneview Street/Annagh Industrial Estate area of Portadown in the early hours of Saturday, February 13 or at any time after this. This appeal is to local people in the town and to members of the Lithuanian community living there.

“It is important that we have as much information as possible so that we can determine what exactly happened to Mr Gerdvilas.

“I would ask anyone with information to contact detectives in Portadown on the non-emergency number 101.”

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