One man released in Antrim murder probe

A section of Antrim lough
A section of Antrim lough

A 59-year-old man who had been arrested on suspicion of murder following the discovery of a woman’s body near Antrim has been released unconditionally.

The remains were discovered by police investigating the disappearance of 61-year-old Pauline Carmichael from her home at Hillside in the town.

The body was recovered from the shore of Lough Neagh at Lough Road yesterday afternoon. A formal identification process has yet to take place.

A second man - a 37-year-old - arrested in connection with the murder investigation remains in custody.

Prior to the discovery of the body, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Dickson, from the PSNI’s serious crime branch, said murder was suspected.

As his officers prepared to search an area of the Sixmilewater close to Ms Carmichael’s home, he said: “Information provided to us leads me to believe Pauline has been murdered.”

Ms Carmichael had been missing from her home since 10pm on Monday.

South Antrim MLA Danny Kinahan knew Ms Carmichael from her many visits to his constituency office.

The Ulster Unionist representative said: “She was someone who came in and out of the office, often, was a regular.”

Mr Kinahan added: “We joked although we helped her with the various issues – teased and laughed together – and she gave me a hard time as one or two others do, and then suddenly you find that this has happened.”

Dr William McCrea, the DUP MP for South Antrim, said: “My deepest sympathies go out to the Carmichael family at the loss of their loved one.

“Pauline visited our local office in Antrim on a number of occasions and the news of her untimely death has stunned us all.”

Mr McCrea said the circumstances of her death was “a tragedy which no family should have to endure,” and added: “As the PSNI continue their investigation, I call upon anyone with information to come forward, ensuring those responsible are brought to justice.”

The PSNI has also appealed for anyone with information to contact detectives on the non-emergency number 101, or the independent Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.