Murder investigation launched following death of man and woman in north Belfast

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Detectives from PSNI Major Investigation Team have launched a murder enquiry after the bodies of a man and woman were discovered in a flat in Kinnaird Close in north Belfast yesterday, Monday 23 December.  Police have named the victims as 37 year old Frances Murray and 47 year old Joseph Dutton.

A 35 year old man arrested last night on suspicion of murder remains in police custody at this time.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery said: "At around 12.55pm yesterday afternoon police received a report from a member of the public that the bodies of Frances and Joseph had been discovered in a flat in the area.  While post mortem examinations have not yet taken place I am treating their deaths as murder.

I would also like to thank the local community for their patience and support while the investigation into this tragic incident continues.  The information they have provided to my detectives to date has been invaluable however we still need people to get in touch and tell us what they know and I want to make a number of specific appeals in a bid to establish the circumstances of exactly what happened.

I believe that some form of altercation took place within the flat where Frances and Joseph were found.  I want to appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time. Did you hear anything or did you see anyone leaving the flats yesterday morning?

"I also want to locate a bag of blood soaked clothing that I believe was discarded in the local area.  The bag is described as being a white carrier type bag with orange lettering on it.  If you see a bag matching this description please do not touch it and contact police immediately.

“No matter how insignificant you think the information you have is, please contact us. Your information could be key to our investigation.  If you can help our investigation, please call detectives on 101 quoting reference 885 23/12/19. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”

We are keen to hear from witnesses of this incident

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information that will assist the investigation to contact us on the non-emergency number 101. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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