Clothing may link killer to crime, says Gardaí – The Irish Times

Gardaí believe clothing discovered as part of the investigation into the murder of 75-year-old grandmother Miriam Burns will link the killer to the crime. The items, which were found during searches in the Killarney area on Wednesday, were still undergoing forensic tests last night.

Detectives working on the case hoped that the results of this work would make a breakthrough in the case. They work on the theory that the found items were disposed of by the killer after the murder in an attempt to conceal their involvement in the crime.

The family of the deceased woman were planning her funeral last night, with her remains due to arrive at St Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney at 2.15pm on Sunday for a 4.00pm service. The ceremony was to be followed by a private cremation.

Ms Burns’ obituary described her as ‘a devoted mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and cousin’. He added that she would be “deeply missed and infinitely loved by her children, grandchildren, sisters, brother, all of her extended family, friends, neighbors and the wider community.”

Ms Burns was found dead at her home in the Ardshanavooly housing estate in the town of Co Kerry on Monday. Gardaí believe she was killed in her home by someone who then went to great lengths to conceal evidence before leaving her body to lie undiscovered for several days.

Ms. Burns, a mother of four and grandmother, was a hugely popular figure in her locality, and her murder was shocking. Gardaí believe she was assaulted in her home in the days before her remains were discovered, as her body was not discovered for several days.

It is understood that when family members were unable to contact her for an extended period, neighbors were asked to check on her. Those checks resulted in the local gardaí being called and Ms Burns’ body was found at her home around 1.15pm on Monday.

The house was cordoned off as a crime scene and the remains were left in place overnight before undergoing a preliminary examination at the scene by a pathologist on Tuesday. An autopsy was performed later Tuesday at Kerry University Hospital by state pathologist Dr Margot Bolster.

Gardaí said the autopsy results were not being released “for operational reasons”. However, the results confirmed the gardaí’s initial suspicions – that Ms Burns had suffered fatal injuries consistent with an attack, rather than having been the victim of an accident or a fall in her home.

There were no signs of a break-in at the property where Ms Burns was found dead and gardaí suspect she may have known her killer and let them into the house.

“An incident room has been established at Killarney Garda station and a murder investigation has commenced under the direction of a lead investigator,” the Garda said. “A family liaison has been appointed and continues to keep the family informed of the investigation.”

A man in his 50s who was being questioned about the murder of Ms Burns at her home in Killarney, Co Kerry, was no longer in custody in connection with yesterday’s murder. The man was arrested on Tuesday and was being questioned at Killarney Garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. Gardaí said a brief on the case was being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions and the investigation into the murder was ongoing.

Harry D. Gonzalez