Belfast Telegraph

Corporal Geoffrey McNeill murder: Police given more time to question soldier over Army barracks death

Police probing the death of a Co Antrim soldier at an Army barracks in England have been granted more time to question a serving soldier on suspicion of murder.

Detectives launched a murder investigation following the discovery of the body of Royal Irish Regiment soldier Corporal Geoffrey McNeill.

The 32-year-old was found at barracks in Tern Hill, near Market Drayton in Shropshire, on Saturday morning.

No details regarding the circumstances of Mr McNeill's death have been released as yet.

A 23-year-old man, a serving soldier, was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Mr McNeill was born in Ballymoney, Co Antrim, and grew up in nearby Coleraine.

One of his three brothers, Jason McNeill, spoke of his family's devastation and added how Geoff had "served his country with the highest degree of honour and dedication".

He added: "He was a much-loved son, brother, uncle and friend and touched the lives of all who had the pleasure of meeting him.

"Our love for him remains as strong as ever. Rest in peace, soldier."

On his Facebook page Jason begged anybody with information regarding his brother's death to come forward.

"Anything no matter how insignificant you think it might be," he added.

A police spokesman said magistrates had today granted a custody extension allowing detectives to hold the suspect until 11am tomorrow.

Further post-mortem tests will take place later today to try to establish the cause of the soldier's death.

Renewing an appeal for information, detective inspector Steve Tonks, of West Mercia Police, said: "We urge anyone who has any information which might be relevant to please contact Shrewsbury CID by calling 101 as a matter of urgency.

"We have a team of officers actively involved in piecing together the circumstances which led to Corporal McNeill's death."

Cpl McNeill's battalion undertook an operational tour of Afghanistan in 2011 and was deployed last month to help flood-stricken communities in Worcestershire.

Further reading

Family of barracks death soldier Corporal Geoffrey McNeill pay tribute as murder probe is launched

Murder probe: Co Antrim Royal Irish Regiment soldier found dead at Army barracks 

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