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Post-mortems on Ballymena men Rodney McDowell and Mark McPeake 'inconclusive'

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Police at the scene in Ballymena where two men were found dead

Police at the scene in Ballymena where two men were found dead

Police at the scene in Ballymena where two men were found dead

Post-mortems carried out on the bodies of two men who died in Ballymena estate on Sunday have proved inconclusive, police have said.

Investigating officers are now waiting on the results of toxicology reports to see if they will shed some light on the cause of the deaths of the two men.

Father-of-four Rodney McDowell (43) and his best friend Mark McPeake (51), who was from Ballykeel, were found unconscious outside the entrance to Mr McDowell's house in Drumtara, Ballee, at around 7.30am on Sunday.

Despite the efforts of police and paramedics, the men could not be revived.

A member of the McDowell family said they had received a phone call at 7.30am from a relative who had found the men.

"One was lying at the front of the house in the porch, while another was found on the path outside," they said.

"When I got there it looked as though they were just sleeping, but they were already cold.

"An ambulance had been rung and they were already there with the police, but there was nothing they could do."

Mid and East Antrim Mayor Paul Reid expressed his condolences to the families.

He said: "I was deeply saddened to learn of the untimely deaths of two men in Ballymena.

"This tragedy has sent shock-waves throughout the town and across Mid and East Antrim.

"My heartfelt sympathy and condolences go to these men's families and friends.

"They are in our thoughts and prayers at this awful time. I have been in discussions with senior PSNI officers who are pursuing lines of enquiry.

"I appeal to anybody with any information to contact police."

Chair of Mid and East Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Councillor Brian Collins, added: "I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the two men who died suddenly in Ballymena.

"Anybody with any information regarding this tragic incident should contact local police on 101."

Belfast Telegraph