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Man charged with 'preventing the lawful burial of a body' in case of Belfast woman found dead two years later

The family of 68-year-old Marie Conlon yesterday said they are ‘shocked and heartbroken’ at her loss.

Twelfth of July celebrations - Belfast File photo Source: Niall Carson/PA Images

Updated 8.11am

A 23-YEAR-OLD MAN, arrested in the wake of the discovery in Belfast of the body of a woman believed to have remained undiscovered for two years, is to appear in court next month charged with theft, burglary, fraud, and preventing the lawful burial of a body.

However, the man, who was arrested in the west Belfast area yesterday, has not been charged with murder.

The body of 68-year-old Marie Conlon was discovered at her home in the city last Friday after authorities were alerted to concerns regarding her whereabouts.

The 23-year-old man is set to appear at Belfast Magistrates Court on Monday 6 November.

“He has been released unconditionally in relation to the suspicion of murder,” a PSNI spokesperson said.

Forensic examinations continue to establish the cause of death. As is normal procedure all charges will be reviewed by the PPS (Public Prosecution Service).

Yesterday, Marie’s family said they were “shocked and heartbroken” over the loss.

“It was apparent that she (Marie) had lain undiscovered for some time,” Detective Chief Inspector Alan Dickson said.

Detectives investigating the circumstances of the death have established that the last known sighting of Conlon was in January 2015.

“It is our belief, supported by the medical evidence, that her death may have occurred at around this time,” Dickson said.

“Shocked and heartbroken”

Commenting on Marie’s death, her family issued a statement saying they were “shocked and heartbroken to learn about the loss of our beloved sister”.

“The tragic circumstances of her death make it all the more difficult to comprehend and accept.

Marie was very much loved by her family and will be mourned greatly. She was a very independent person.

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The family said that attempts had been made to contact Marie over the course of the two years.

“Numerous attempts had been made to contact her in person, and by other means, over the course of the past two years but at no point were suspicions raised that she had been deceased.

“It is only with hindsight that the unimaginable now seems possible.

We have been working closely with the PSNI to bring this devastating situation to an end. We ask for privacy as we grieve the loss of our sister.

Anyone who believes they may have information that could assist the investigation is being asked to call police on 101.

With reporting by Cianan Brennan

Comments have been disabled as the case is before the courts

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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