Teenager is arrested after homeless Polish man found murdered in derelict house
A teenager was last night being quizzed over the murder of a homeless man in Maghera.
Piotr Krowka (36) was found dead on Tuesday in a derelict property on the Glen Road area of Maghera.
The Polish national had been in the area for a number of years and had a sister living nearby.
The PSNI launched a murder investigation and disclosed Mr Krowka had suffered serious injuries to his head and body.
Detectives investigating the murder arrested a 19-year-old man yesterday evening.
Last night he remained in police custody.
The murder shocked the local community.
Glen Parish priest Fr Patrick Doherty said: “The local community are very shocked and sad. We’ll continue to have the family in our prayers.
“I would have seen him around a few times in the town. Sometimes he came into the church during the day. Perhaps it was for the heat.
“With the language barrier, I didn’t know that much about him, but he was getting some help and support from people.”
Fr Doherty clarified the disused property wasn’t a parochial house, as had been previously reported, but had once been the home of a school teacher.
Jerome Mullan, the Honorary Consul of Poland for Northern Ireland, was shocked by Mr Krowka’s killing.
“It’s very sad news. No doubt his sister will be making arrangements for his funeral in due course, but it is a murder inquiry so I’m not sure when his body will be released,” he said.
“It’s obviously very shocking and my sympathies go to his family.
“I’ve offered my consular services and it’s been reported to the Polish embassy in London.”
DUP Mid Ulster MLA Keith Buchanan said: “This is a quiet rural community where neighbours are shocked that a man has been murdered on their doorstep.
“People should help the police with the investigation.
“I know the entire area will be holding this man’s family foremost in their thoughts.”
Sinn Fein MLA Ian Milne also encouraged anyone with information to contact the police.
“First and foremost, I want to send my sympathies to the family and friends of the victim,” he said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they deal with the tragic and sudden loss.”
Estate agent Kim Convery revealed she had helped Mr Krowka in the past.
“He did tell me he was homeless and had nowhere to stay,” she told the BBC.
“He hadn’t been washing or eating. He asked me for some hot water, so we filled a flask for him. (We are) absolutely devastated to hear he has passed— it’s unbelievable.”
Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Boyce said: “I am keen to identify Piotr’s movements between Good Friday and Easter Tuesday, when his body was discovered, and I would appeal to anyone who was in contact with or who may have witnessed Piotr during this time to please contact us.”
Police also want to hear from anyone who noticed anything suspicious at the house.