Human remains found in missing couple case as daughter charged with murders

ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey reports live from Chelmsford where a double murder investigation is under way

Human remains have been discovered in the case of two missing pensioners, as a woman, believed to be their daughter, appeared in court charged with their murders.

On Wednesday 13 September, Essex Police received reports of concerns for the welfare of two people aged in their 70s.

This led officers to an address in Pump Hill, Chelmsford, where police have now confirmed they have recovered the remains of two people.

Although formal identification is yet to take place, officers believe these to be the remains of John McCullough, and Lois McCullough, both aged in their 70s.

An artist impression of Virginia McCullough, 35, appearing in court. Credit: PA

The family of John and Lois, who are being supported by specialist officers, said: “We are deeply shocked by their deaths and ask for privacy at this difficult time.”

It comes as Virginia McCullough, 35, appeared before magistrates on Monday 18 September accused of murdering the couple between August 21, 2018, and September 15 this year, in Chelmsford, a court charge sheet said.

A private ambulance outside the address in Great Baddow on Sunday (17 September) Credit: Phillip

McCullough, of Pump Hill, Chelmsford, was not asked to enter pleas during a two-minute hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court.

The defendant, who wore a grey prison-issue tracksuit, spoke only to confirm her personal details.

McCullough is next due to appear before Basildon Crown Court on Tuesday for a bail application hearing.

Scenes of crime officers are still at the property in Great Baddow. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Detective Superintendent Rob Kirby said: “This continues to be an incredibly complex investigation.

“Our work will continue throughout the coming days, as our specialist officers and staff continue to piece together all elements of this matter.

“Officers will carry out work at addresses in Pump Hill throughout the coming days.

“I would continue to urge against speculation as these enquiries continue.

“A family is grieving the loss of two relatives and officers are supporting them.”

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