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Two men arrested over father-of-two Conor McKee murder

Published 08/01/2016

A murder inquiry is under way after the discovery of body in north Belfast. Inset: Murder victim Conor McKee
A murder inquiry is under way after the discovery of body in north Belfast. Inset: Murder victim Conor McKee
Pacemaker Press Belfast 08/01/2016: A murder inquiry is under way after the discovery of a man's body in north Belfast. The body was found in a house in Glenpark Street shortly before 22:30 GMT on Thursday. The man is understood to have been in his 30s.
Murder victim Conor McKee. Pic: PSNI
Pacemaker Press Belfast 08/01/2016: A murder inquiry is under way after the discovery of a man's body in north Belfast. The body was found in a house in Glenpark Street shortly before 22:30 GMT on Thursday. The man is understood to have been in his 30s.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 08/01/2016: A murder inquiry is under way after the discovery of a man's body in north Belfast. The body was found in a house in Glenpark Street shortly before 22:30 GMT on Thursday. The man is understood to have been in his 30s.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 08/01/2016: A murder inquiry is under way after the discovery of a man's body in north Belfast. The body was found in a house in Glenpark Street shortly before 22:30 GMT on Thursday. The man is understood to have been in his 30s.
A murder inquiry is under way after the discovery of a man's body in north Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison Pacemaker Press Belfast 08/01/2016:
A murder inquiry is under way after the discovery of a man's body in north Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison Pacemaker Press Belfast 08/01/2016:
A murder inquiry is under way after the discovery of a man's body in north Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison Pacemaker Press Belfast 08/01/2016:
A murder inquiry is under way after the discovery of a man's body in north Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison Pacemaker Press Belfast 08/01/2016:
A murder inquiry is under way after the discovery of a man's body in north Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison Pacemaker Press Belfast 08/01/2016:
Conor McKee was murdered in north Belfast on Thursday night (PSNI/PA Wire)

Two men have been arrested in connection with the murder of a father of two in Northern Ireland.

Conor McKee, 31, was found dead by his mother at his parents' home off the Oldpark Road in North Belfast on Thursday night.

The victim, a father of two young children, had been on bail for alleged drugs offences.

The suspects, aged 37 and 44, were detained in Belfast and Antrim on Friday evening. They have been taken to Musgrave Street police station in Belfast for questioning.

Earlier PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway said drugs is one line of inquiry but said investigators needed to speak to Mr McKee's friends and a specific witness who may have vital information.

A post-mortem is yet to be carried out.

Mr Galloway said: "This was a particularly brutal murder, all the more traumatic for Conor's mother, who found him. This was a tragedy for Conor's family but also for the wider community."

Mr McKee's body was discovered in an upstairs bedroom of the Glenpark Street house by his mother at 10.30pm on Thursday.

Detectives are appealing for anyone who saw a man near the house after 6pm on Thursday to get in contact.

Mr Galloway added: "This was a devastating tragedy for the McKee family, particularly traumatic for his mum and dad and close family."

He wants a person who contacted police early this morning to get in touch again urgently.

"Conor was on bail and had been released shortly before Christmas. His lifestyle will form part of our investigation," he said.

"There is absolutely no justification for what happened to Conor last night and for what his family are now going through.

"Regardless of what happened before, that is the family home, his mother and father's home."

He said he was not ruling out paramilitary involvement.

"Conor has left two young children and a partner behind."

He said drugs formed one line of inquiry but detectives were not ruling out others.

Mr McKee's body was removed from the scene at around lunchtime. Detectives and forensics experts have been combing the area and streets were closed to traffic.

Neighbour Martin McAuley said: "It is a desperate situation for the family."

Sinn Fein Assembly member Caral Ni Chuilin said: "This is a terrible tragedy for this man's family, who are well known in the area, and for the wider community.

"Any speculation about the specific circumstances of this killing would be unhelpful but I would strongly urge anyone that witnessed anything suspicious or has any information, regardless of how inconsequential they may feel it is, to come forward immediately."

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