Newry murder-suicide suspect Russell Steele had mental health issues, reveals brother online
The brother of a man believed to have strangled his Colombian partner and her teenage daughter in Newry before taking his own life said the Scot had mental health problems, but was still an "absolute gentleman" and "one in a million".
Police believe Russell Steele (38), originally from Kilmarnock and known to friends as 'Steelie', hanged himself in a Newry flat last Thursday after strangling his partner Giselle Marimon-Herrera (37) and her daughter Allison (15).
His brother Derek defended the late Haldane Fisher building supplies employee from criticism on social media over the weekend after he posted an emotional farewell.
"Today my absalute world has came crashing down finding out that my big brother Russell has died (sic)," he wrote.
"Words cannot describe how am feelin right now and the family ov course... dizny feel real, feel like am in a nightmare and need tae wake. Russell a love you, always have and always will, always looked up to you, you were an inspiration tae me honestly Bro. RIP Russell (sic)."
It is understood Steele also killed Newry High School pupil Allison's pet Chihuahua in the chilling attack which came to light last Thursday when Giselle's sister reported that she had not been seen for four days.
A post-mortem examination confirmed Allison had been strangled and police have said they believe her mother died the same way, although they are still awaiting conclusive findings.
Officers are treating domestic violence as a major line of enquiry amid reports that Steele was a disruptive and aggressive neighbour who was known to police.
Last night Detective Chief Inspector Eamonn Corrigan confirmed that officers responded to a report of "rowdy and inconsiderate behaviour" on September 1, 2018.
It is unclear when or why Steele moved here but he was in a relationship with Giselle for nine months.
Her heartbroken father Fabian Marimon has told South American media that his daughter, who moved here four years ago, was due to travel home for good next week and was "happy and laughing" when they spoke last Saturday.
YouTube videos of Steele, who is reported to have "floated between churches", show him busking and performing religious songs he penned himself.
One Kilmarnock resident told the Sunday Post that Steele struggled with "addiction issues" in the past.
Yesterday his brother defended the killer from online critics, telling them "tae get ta f***" (sic).
"Ye ever herd ay mental health! (sic)" he wrote to one Facebook user before telling them to "do one".
In another post he wrote "see at the end of the day mental health has alot tae dae wae it" (sic). He then claimed that anyone who "truly knows" his brother "knows fine well that he was "one in a million" and a "gentleman".
"Just remember he has family and friends grieving," he added.
Over £4,400 has been raised online to help Giselle's devastated father fly here after he said he is willing to sell his taxi to cover the cost.
Newry Credit Union has also launched a fundraising appeal to help repatriate Giselle and Allison's bodies to Colombia.