Appalling crimes | 

Gardai probe 'serial killer' theory as second Sligo murder victim named and pictured

'They were assaulted and murdered in their own homes,' Chief Superintendent Glacken said

Michael Snee

Neil Fetherstonhaugh and Ken Foy

Gardaí are probing whether the murders of two men in Co Sligo were the work of a potential serial killer after the body of a second man with very serious injuries was found.

The victim has been named as Michael Snee (58).

It followed the killing of Aidan Moffitt (42), who was found dead in his home on Monday night.

Officers are understood to be investigating whether the killings were the work of a potential serial killer who was targeting men on dating apps.

Speaking following the horrific deaths of Mr Snee and Mr Moffitt, Chief Superintendent Aidan Glacken said both men were “well known and respected in this community”.

“They were assaulted and murdered in their own homes,” Chief Superintendent Glacken said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with their families at this time and indeed their friends and the wider community in Sligo.

“Family Liaison Officers have been provided to both Michael and Aidan’s families and An Garda Síochána continue to provide ongoing support to the families.

Aidan Moffitt

“I have commenced two separate murder investigations. A Senior Investigating Officer is in charge of each investigation supported by an incident room. Substantial Garda resources are dedicated to these investigations with further support from Regional and National Units.”

Gardai said that at approximately 10.30pm last night officer from Sligo Garda Station attended at a private residence at Connaughton Road, Sligo, following the receipt of a 999 call.

There, they gardaí discovered the body of Mr Snee who had been subject of a serious physical assault and had suffered significant injuries.

On Monday, at approximately 8.30pm, gardaí from Sligo Garda Station attended at a private residence at Cartron Heights, Sligo, following a call from the public.

There gardaí discovered the body of Mr Moffitt, who had also been the subject of a serious physical assault and had also suffered significant injuries.

Both scenes have been sealed off as the Garda Technical Bureau conduct a detailed forensic examination of each scene.

A post mortem was carried out on the remains of Mr Moffitt, yesterday, at University Hospital Sligo by Dr Sally Ann Collis, State Pathologist.

A post mortem will be carried out on the remains of Michael Snee later today.

Chief Superintendent Glacken said he would not be releasing any details of the post mortem examination “for operational reasons”.

Flowers at the scene in Cartron Heights, Sligo, Ireland, following the death of Aidan Moffitt, who was in his early 40s (Niall Carson/PA)

A man in his early 20s who was arrested for murder shortly after 1.30am this morning remains in custody, gardai said, and is detained under section 4 Criminal Justice Act 1984.

“I cannot make any further comment on this part of the investigation,” Chief Superintendent Glacken added.

“We continue to retain an open mind in this investigation. I would like to thank the community for their cooperation and assistance so far, information received from across the community continues to assist us in our investigation. It is heartening to see such cross community support at this time.

“I continue to appeal to the public for their assistance in that regard.

“We are actively investigating as to whether there is any hate related motive to these murders, An Garda Síochána will endeavour to seek out all the available evidence, and ultimately it will be for a Court to decide on the motivation behind these appalling crimes.

Gardaí are also investigating whether Michael and Aidan met their attacker online, which Chief Superintendent Glacken described as a “normal activity”.

“Meeting people online should be a safe activity. But as with any online activity everybody should be aware of personal safety advice, which we have provided on the Garda website.

“We continue to explore all the circumstances of these cases and are examining another recent incident which occurred in the Sligo area. I am appealing to any person who may have been subject of any unwanted approaches or who was assaulted or otherwise attacked to contact the incident room at Sligo Garda Station.

“I have a dedicated diversity team here, we need to hear from you, we are here to listen to you and we are here to support you.

“An Garda Síochána has an online facility to report Hate Crimes on the Garda website.

“I continue to appeal to anyone with any information on these crimes to contact us at Sligo Garda station. No matter how insignificant you think it may be, we need to hear from you.

“Please contact us at Sligo Garda Station at the dedicated Incident Room phone number 071 9157088, the Garda Confidential Line phone number 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

“I would like to reassure the public that all any information received will be treated in the strictest confidence.”

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