Woman accused of murdering parents in Chelmsford, Essex, to face court trial

Virginia McCullough, accused of murdering her parents, in court Credit: PA

A woman accused of murdering her parents is facing a trial next year.

Virginia McCullough is charged with the murders of John and Lois McCullough, both aged in their 70s.

Essex Police arrested the 35-year-old last week. McCullough, of Pump HIll in Great Baddow, Chelmsford is accused of killing the couple between August 21, 2018, and September 15, 2023.

Police confirmed on Monday the bodies of two people were found at an address in Pump Hill.

McCullough appeared at Basildon Crown Court on Tuesday, via video link from HMP Peterborough.

She was not asked to enter pleas.

She wore a grey prison-issue tracksuit and had a blonde bob haircut, and spoke only to confirm her identity.

Detectives investigating the deaths of John and Lois McCullough, in their 70s, have found human remains Credit: Essex Police/ PA

Judge Samantha Leigh remanded her into custody until a plea hearing on December 1, with a provisional trial date set from May 13 next year at Chelmsford Crown Court with a time estimate of two weeks.

No application for bail was made.

Essex Police said it received reports of concern for the well-being of two people aged in their 70s on September 13.

It then began an investigation, which led to the disovery of human remains.

Detective Superintendent Rob Kirby, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said on Monday: “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 inquiries continue.

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

The family of John and Lois McCullough said in a statement: “We are deeply shocked by their deaths and ask for privacy at this difficult time.”

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