20/05/2002

Suspects held after County Down double murder

Police have been granted a further extension to hold two people for questioning in connection with the deaths of two men in County Down.

Two men – who are believed to be from Lithuania – were arrested on Friday morning, with a third man also arrested later that day but released on Saturday, while a magistrate granted detectives a 36-hour extension to hold the two suspects. A further extension for questioning until 10.30pm on Monday evening has now been granted.

The bodies of the two men were found together on the roadside near Warrenpoint in County Down on Wednesday afternoon, after the alarm was raised by a man who telephoned police to say he had found a body lying in heavy undergrowth just outside Warrenpoint Golf Course.

A major operation was launched as army technical officers were tasked to check the bodies for booby traps, while British army helicopters flew specialist equipment from Bessbrook barracks, including an all-terrain vehicle and a robot to examine the scene.

One of the victims has now been positively identified as Lithuanian, and it is believed the other dead man also came from the same country. Police said that the two men had received multiple injuries leading to a "violent death".

Officers from Interpol and from the Republic of Ireland are helping police with the investigation.

(CL)


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