Chelmsford woman appears in court over murder of missing pensioners believed to be her parents

A woman has appeared in court charged with the murders of two missing pensioners who are believed to be her parents.

Virginia McCullough, 35, is accused of murdering John McCullough and Lois McCullough between August 21, 2018, and September 15, this year in Chelmsford, a court charge sheet said.

Essex Police said she had been charged with the murders of a man and a woman aged in their 70s, whose bodies have yet to be found.

It is understood they are her parents.

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

McCullough, of Pump Hill, Chelmsford, was not asked to enter pleas during a two-minute hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Monday 18 September.

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.

Essex Police said it began an investigation after receiving reports of concern for the well-being of the two people aged in their 70s.

The force says it believes the pair are dead.

Credit: ITV News Anglia

An Essex Police spokesman said: "A woman has been charged with two counts of murder following an investigation by detectives and staff from our serious crime directorate.

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

"As a result of the extensive work carried out by a dedicated investigative team, our strong belief based on all the evidence available is that the two people in question are no longer alive.

"The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is in agreement with this assessment."

Credit: ITV News Anglia

Detective Superintendent Rob Kirby said: "Although we have received authorisation to charge Virginia McCullough, this complex and in-depth investigation will be continuing at pace throughout the coming weeks and months.

"I would also reiterate that our continued belief is that this is an isolated incident and there is no threat to the wider Chelmsford or Essex public."

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