Belfast Telegraph

Conor McKee murder: Two men arrested after body discovered in north Belfast

PSNI said the 31-year-old was on bail for alleged drugs offences

By Allan Preston

Detectives investigating the murder of Conor McKee in north Belfast have arrested two men.

Conor McKee was discovered by his mother shortly before 10.30pm on Thursday night in the Glenpark Street area.

Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway said: "The men aged 37 and 44 were arrested in Antrim and Belfast this evening and have been taken to the Serious Crime Suite at Musgrave for questioning.

"The investigation is ongoing and I would continue to appeal for anyone with any information to come forward and contact detectives on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

The two men have since been released on bail pending further enquiries.

A heavy police presence was in the area on Friday, with a security cordon placed around the red brick terraced house where the man's body was found.

The 31-year-old had two young children with his partner.

Detectives described the murder as "particularly brutal".

Det Chief Insp 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."

Police have appealed for an individual who contacted them in the early hours to get back in touch urgently.

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

He was on bail for alleged drugs offences at the time of the murder.

Det Chief Insp Galloway said: "Conor was on bail and had been released shortly before Christmas. His lifestyle will form part of our investigation.

"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."

A post-mortem has yet to be carried out and detectives are keeping an open mind as to the motive of the murder.

Neighbours and friends of the family have said they are shocked by the news saying the McKee family have lived in the area for generations.

One woman told the Belfast Telegraph: "It makes you worry when you're living here, round the district, what could happen because nobody knows what the whole thing is about. I would be worried, the mummy was the one who found him. "

"He was a lovely fella, very quiet, kept himself to himself. We grew up together, I lived across the street from him as kids and we would have played together. They were a lovely family, decent people."

Another man in the area who knew the man and his family said: "He was a lovely quiet fella. Things like that there, you don't expect them to happen on your own doorstep. I'd known him growing up, nice young lad."

Another woman added: "I know him and his family. He has two wee children, he's a lovely fella. It's shocking for everybody so close to home. No one knows the true outcome of what has happened yet."

A number of neighbours in the area went on to claim that the man had been stabbed.

Police said a post-mortem examination will take place to determine the cause of death.

Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway appealed for any witnesses to contact them.

He said: “I am appealing for anyone who was in the area of Glenpark Street yesterday afternoon or last night and who witnessed anything suspicious or anyone with any information that could assist with the investigation to contact Detectives in Musgrave Police Station on the non-emergency number 101.

"Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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