Belfast Telegraph

Police claim Charlotte Murray killed after ex-boyfriend received photos of her with another man

By Michael Donnelly

Police believe the ex-boyfriend of a woman who vanished five years ago killed her after he learned she had been romantically linked to another man, a court has heard.

John Patrick Miller is accused of murdering Charlotte Murray in 2012.

The 46-year-old was yesterday refused bail at Dungannon Magistrates' Court, almost five years to the day Charlotte is believed to have gone missing.

Miller, a chef from the town's Redford Park, who appeared via video-link from Maghaberry prison, denies murdering Charlotte sometime between October 31 and November 1, 2012.

Originally from Omagh, but living in Moy, 34-year-old Charlotte was reported missing by her family in 2013.

They sat quietly in the gallery of the court, which heard police believed the missing woman was murdered after Miller was sent explicit images of her with another man.

A detective sergeant also claimed that "traces of Charlotte's blood were found in the bathroom of the Roxborough Heights house".

The detective added: "It was around the waste water pipe and spatters were also located on the wall behind the toilet.

"All we know is that it is Charlotte's blood. We cannot be sure what else happened in that bathroom. Searches are ongoing for her remains as we speak."

It was also claimed that in the hours after he allegedly killed Charlotte, Miller went online looking for pawn dealers, attempting to sell off her engagement ring.

Opposing bail, a sergeant said police feared Miller, who now knows the extent of the evidence against him, might abscond as he has associates in France.

The detective added: "The defendant and Charlotte were in a relationship from around 2011, when they resided and worked on the island of Lusty Beg. The couple them moved to Roxborough Heights, Moy.

"They became engaged in February 2012, but Miller would later claim the relationship began to decline shortly after. Charlotte was at this time seeking another job and was offered a position in Belfast just prior to her disappearance."

The detective also told the court that at around 5.15am on November 1, a post appeared on Charlotte's Facebook account, saying, "I'm so p***** off with life. I have to go away for a while."

While this was later found to have been posted from a different internet address, it was registered at the home the couple had shared.

A text was also sent from Charlotte's mobile phone to her new employers to say she would not be coming in.

Later that day a friend also received a text from the mobile, stating: "I'm going away for a while."

Miller was to later claim that with the relationship over, Charlotte left for Belfast, taking only her computer with her.

The sergeant told the court: "We believe we can prove what the defendant put forward as a statement in 2013 is lies.

However, defence lawyer Peter Corrigan argued: "The presence of blood does not signify a murder occurred in that house.

"Animal blood was also found there. There is no evidence a murder took place in the house."

Further claiming the court "cannot even be sure there has been a murder," the solicitor said Miller's family were offering him accommodation and were willing to post a £20,000 bail bond.

Rejecting the application, deputy District Judge Bonita Boyd said she was not satisfied any conditions would mitigate any risk of flight or interference with the investigation. Miller will appear in court again by video-link later this month.

Belfast Telegraph

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