Detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team have arrested a 26-year-old man on suspicion of murder after the body of a 29-year-old man was discovered in the Burrendale Park Road area of Newcastle, Co Down at the weekend.
Police haven’t yet confirmed the identity of the deceased, but he has been named locally as Padraig Fox.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter McKenna, who is leading the investigation, said: “Police received a report at 1:45pm on Saturday (December 8) that the body of a man had been discovered at a flat.
“Following a post mortem examination yesterday (Sunday) I am now treating this death as murder.
“A 26-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder, and he remains in custody assisting us with our enquiries at this time.”
Reacting to news of the murder, local DUP councillor Glyn Hanna commented: “It is just so sad that a young man has lost his life in this way. He was only 29 and had his whole life in front of him. I’m sure he had family and this must be absolutely dreadful for them.
“I hope the police will get to the bottom of what happened and I would urge anyone with information to come forward and assist the investigation.”
SDLP MLA Colin McGrath described the man’s murder as “a chilling tragedy” that had “shocked” the local community.
“News filtered through over the weekend that a person has passed away in suspicious circumstances and is being investigated as a murder. Such news always sends a chill through the community,” he commented.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased at this time.”
His party colleague, Councillor Laura Devlin, said the incident had been “just devastating for the local community.”
“The local community was completely devastated by the news at the weekend that a young man had died, but to hear that it is now being investigated as a murder is just totally shocking,” she told the News Letter.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the young man who passed away.
“I would urge anyone with any information to let the police know. A family will be dealing with this tragic news in the days leading up to Christmas and that will be just awful.”
Sinn Fein councillor Willie Clarke added: “This young man’s death is upsetting for his family, friends and the wider community, who are shocked by what’s happened.”
Police have appealed for anyone with information that could assist their investigation to call detectives on 101, quoting reference number 712 of 08/12/18, or to call the Crimestoppers line anonymously on 0800 555111.