No cause of death established in Limerick post mortems

No cause of death established in Limerick post mortems

By David Raleigh in Boolaglass, Askeaton.

Gardaí have said post mortems have been carried out on the decomposed bodies of a man and woman found in Limerick but "no cause of death has been established".

A spokesman for the Garda Press Office added, "further tests need to be carried out" to find how both died.

The Garda spokesman also said the remains have not yet been officially identified.

The State Pathologist Marie Cassidy has attended the scene in the house near Askeaton, Co Limerick, where the bodies of two people were discovered. Report by Jimmy Wolfe Video by Dan Linehan

The bodies, found in an upstairs bedroom at the farmhouse at Boolaglas, Askeaton, are understood to be that of partners Julia Holmes and Thomas Ruttle.

Ms Holmes, 63, from Ballynahinch, Co Down, is wanted by the FBI in America and the PSNI in Northern Ireland over a series of alleged frauds.

No cause of death established in Limerick post mortems

Mr Ruttle, 56, who grew up in the house which was left to him by his late mother, is a local farmer.

Gardaí said they were investigating a number of lines of enquiry including that the deaths may have been the result of a murder suicide.

The couple, who had been renovating the house, have not been seen for several weeks.

Gardaí said they were alerted to the isolated home shortly before 3am after receiving a tip off, and found the man and woman in a "decomposed" state.

Gardaí confirmed a gun was located near their bodies, however Mr Ruttle has licenses for a rifle and a shotgun.

The bodies were removed from the scene to University Hospital Limerick for full post mortems to be carried out by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy.

Local Church of Ireland Minister, Rev Dr Keith Scott, said he prayed over the bodies as they were taken by Gardaí from the house.

"I said a few prayers over the bodies as they went out of the house," he said.

"It's a terrible tragedy, and all of the family are very deeply shocked, terribly shaken and upset."

He described the deceased male as "just a local guy working around the area".

He said the man and woman "were members of the local Church of Ireland church".

"I can't say anymore than that," he added.

No cause of death established in Limerick post mortems

Neighbours of Mr Ruttle, whom it's understood has family living in England and Cork, said they were shocked.

Local woman Sarah McNamara said: "I'm shocked really, to be honest with you. I just heard there were two bodies found at the house. It's a lovely quiet area around here."

Elma Barry, who lives two houses from the scene, said: "Just shock and just disbelief. Myself and my neighbour are just chatting and it's hard to comprehend what's going on next door to you."

"It's just the life we live at the minute; people just don't know what's happening next door to them - (this) just proves it."

Superintendent Tom O'Connor, who is leading the investigation, said: "We are trying to ascertain what happened. It's appears the bodies have been there for some time."

"There appears to be a firearm at the scene, but we have to rule out a number of callers to the house in the past few weeks," Supt O'Connor added.

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