Northern Ireland

Police get more time for Dromore deaths questioning

Lily McKee, 52, died in December 2002
Image caption Lily McKee, 52, died in December 2002

Police have been given an extra 36 hours to question a 66-year-old man about the deaths of three women in the County Down town of Dromore over an 11-year period.

The man, has been named locally as Leslie Ross.

Mr Ross, who is understood to live alone in the market town, has been in police custody since Tuesday morning.

The police said their investigation did not involve any exhumations.

The three women who died were: Michelle Bickerstaff, 47, in April last year, Margaret Weise, 50, in August 2007 and Elizabeth McKee, 52, known as Lily, who died in December 2002.

Since his arrest, the home of Mr Ross has been daubed in graffiti and an attempt made to remove it.

'Vital link'

An obituary at the time of her death said that Ms Bickerstaff, a mother-of-four, had died suddenly in hospital.

The BBC understands she had suffered a head injury.

Appealing for information, Det Ch Insp Richard Harkness said: "We are keen to speak with anyone who may have any information which could assist us and I would urge members of the community in Dromore to contact us.

"People may have been reluctant to come forward in the past but I can assure you that any information given to the police will be treated in the utmost confidence.

"Your information could provide us with the vital link to enable us to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion."

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