BODY LAY FOR WEEKS

The front door of the dead man's flat. It is understood police broke the front door glass to gain entry. 2608SJ60
The front door of the dead man's flat. It is understood police broke the front door glass to gain entry. 2608SJ60

Police believe the body of a Derry man discovered in a Limavady flat on Tuesday evening may have been there for at least four weeks.

The shocking discovery in the bedroom of the upstairs flat at Alexander Terrace, off Alexander Road, was made at around 5pm. It is believed the dead man is Tony Squires, originally from Derry but who had moved to the Roe Valley town.

The window of the dead man's first floor flat lay open on Wednesday evening. 2608SJ70

The window of the dead man's first floor flat lay open on Wednesday evening. 2608SJ70

PSNI Insp. Clive Spence told the ‘Journal’: “Police were informed by, I believe, a neighbour, or someone who lives close to there, who was concerned they hadn’t seen someone in a while and had noticed a lot of flies on the curtains. The officers were met with a fairly gruesome scene. It’s very shocking, very sad.”

Insp. Spence stressed there was nothing at this time to suggest foul play was involved and confirmed formal identification would be by dental records.

Shocked residents crowded the square outside the first floor flat on Tuesday as police and forensic officers worked at the scene.

“A neighbour phoned me and said, ‘look out the back, there are two police cars. What’s going on?’ Then the forensic officers came and, a while later, the undertaker arrived,” a resident said. “I knew the fella that lived in the flat and we would have always spoken in passing. He was very friendly, and always very polite. He loved to walk and go to the swimming pool, but I hadn’t seen him in about six weeks. He was very nice and never bothered anyone.”

The woman said people are “terribly shocked”. “The sad bit about it is that he died on his own. To think no-one was with him, or no-one knew he had died. People are really shocked and saddened.”

Another resident, who lives nearby, said police were physically ill at the scene.

“Nobody can believe it. It’s just awful, really sad,” she said.

SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan spoke with residents on Wednesday. He said: “People are shocked to learn of this but, most of all, it’s very sad.”