Belfast Telegraph

David Murphy murder: No easy answers in sight as PSNI looks to piece together sinister puzzle

The forensics team outside the home of David Murphy. Credit: Pacemaker.
The forensics team outside the home of David Murphy. Credit: Pacemaker.
Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

Incessant rain bounced off the cream-coloured walls and windows outside Glenhome Farm in the early afternoon as forensic officers searched inside for clues.

A police cordon remained drawn across the front of the victim's two-storey house, as well as some neighbouring property, on the main thoroughfare between Ballymena and Larne.

Cars and vans sped past the scene at Church House yesterday, slowing down rapidly when a lone marked police car guarding the murder scene suddenly came into their line of vision.

It was here, just one day earlier, that the peace and tranquillity of a relatively rural part of Glenwherry was shattered when two gunshots rang out, claiming 52-year-old farmer David Murphy's life.

The blinds were pulled tightly closed in all but two of the upstairs windows on the right of a farmhouse that is surrounded by a small brick wall, two pillars and a gate that did nothing to discourage lethal intruders.

It remains unclear as to how or when his killer - or killers, the police don't ­yet know - got into the home of the victim, whose lifeless body was discovered lying on the kitchen floor by a concerned friend who had called round to the house to see him.

Just before 2pm, five unmarked police cars turned up, heralding the arrival of several officers whose grim task it was to piece together the parts of a Co Antrim murder puzzle with possible links to paramilitary criminality.

While they meandered around outhouses, dogs barked in nearby bungalows and sheep and cattle strolled around the local fields.

Outside one small cottage a single goose skirted around its wire pen as the rain continued to fall.

Farmers from the area, including one young man who was towing a trailer full of sheep, continued to go about their work, but they seemed disconcerted by the unusual police and media presence in this remote part of the country.

One local said it had been a terrible shock to learn of a neighbour's brutal killing, especially as the victim had lived - most recently by himself - in the same house for the past two decades.

Detectives want to trace Mr Murphy's movements between Saturday and Tuesday lunchtime, and they have appealed for anyone in the area of Church Road with dashcams on their vehicles, or who may have noticed anything out of the ordinary, to come forward.

As the heavy rain turned into dreary drizzle and dusk came in, the lights on either side of the murder scene's front door remained switched off.

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