Man, 23, charged with various offences following Marie Conlon death

Police at the scene in Larkspur Drive, west Belfast
Police at the scene in Larkspur Drive, west Belfast

A man arrested by police investigating the death of a woman believed to have lain dead in her Belfast flat for two years has been charged with a number of offences.

Police say they have charged a 23-year-old man with offences related to theft, fraud, burglary and preventing the lawful burial of a body.

He is due to appear at Belfast Magistrates Court on Monday, November 6. All charges will be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service.

A police statement, issued on Friday morning, added that the man has been "released unconditionally in relation to the suspicion of murder. Forensic examinations continue to establish the cause of death."

The body 68-year-old Marie Conlon was discovered in her home in the Larkspur Rise area of west Belfast on Friday (October 6), but PSNI say they believe she may have died more than two years ago.

Last night police said they had been asked to issue the following statement from the Conlon family.

“We are shocked and heartbroken to learn about the loss of our beloved sister, Marie Conlon,” it said. “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. 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 hope and pray that justice will be done and ask for privacy as we grieve the loss of our sister. The family of Marie Conlon.”