Woman arrested in Natasha Carruthers crash murder investigation released pending further enquiries
Police investigating the murder of Natasha Carruthers in a crash in Co Fermanagh have made a fourth arrest - a 32-year-old woman.
She was arrested on Friday, October 13, on suspicion of withholding information and perverting the course of justice and is currently in police custody assisting officers with their enquiries.
The woman was released on Saturday evening on police bail pending further enquiries.
Detective Chief Inspector Eamonn Corrigan said: “A week has now passed since the tragic incident which cost Natasha her life. We continue to focus our efforts to find out exactly what happened and who is responsible for Natasha’s death.
"Our investigation is moving forward at pace but I would still appeal to anyone with any information which could assist us with our enquiries to contact detectives on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1852 07/10/17.”
The 23-year-old was a front seat passenger in a car which crashed at Newbridge Road, Derrylin on October 7.
The incident was initially treated as a traffic accident, but around four days later it became a murder inquiry. Officers were given further time to question two men arrested in relation to the death.
A detective sergeant told Dungannon Magistrates Court during a hearing yesterday morning that extensive enquiries are ongoing, and phased interviews had still to take place with the men.
However last night both men were released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).
A woman who was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice was earlier released and a file has been sent to the PPS.
The detective explained that Serious Crime Officers took over the case at 3pm on Wednesday after it was deemed a murder investigation. This followed information which was received that claimed other vehicles were involved, which ramped up the nature of the investigation.
She confirmed that as well as murder, the offences being investigated are causing death and grievous bodily harm by dangerous driving, and there have been witness reports of “ramming”.
Along with the two suspects in custody, police believe a third man has fled to the Republic of Ireland, and enquiries are continuing into his whereabouts.
The court heard that the driver of the crashed car remains very seriously ill at the Royal Victoria Hospital and police have yet to speak to him, although it is hoped this could be imminent, depending on his condition.
The rear seat passenger, a woman, has since been discharged and is also still to be interviewed.
The detective said there is a vast area of Co Fermanagh to be trawled for evidence, including Derrylin, Newtownbutler, Enniskillen, Maguiresbridge and Lisnaskea, adding that this was going to take considerable time, along with interviewing processes.
A total of ten mobile phones have been seized for examination, as police believe there was a lot of communication prior to and after the incident.
Defence solicitors for both suspects confirmed that they were not objecting to the extended detention.
District Judge John Meehan granted the application and allowed a further 36 hours in custody.