An 84-year-old widower was murdered in his own front-garden near Gorey, County Wexford. The chief suspect sat on the man’s body and sang hymns as the police arrived. She has since been released without charge.

The crime took place on Sunday evening at Ballyrea, Ballyedmond, according to the Evening Herald.

The chief suspect was found sitting on the man’s body and she reportedly continued to sing hymns when she was placed in a cell having been taken into custody at the Enniscorthy Garda Station. The police also brought her for psychiatric treatment at a medical facility. She has since been released without charge.

The 50-year-old woman was known to Plunkett. She has a history of psychiatric problems and making threats. She was seen semi-naked and covered in cuts outside Plunkett’s home on the morning of his death.

State pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy conducted a postmortem examination on Plunkett’s remains and determined he had died of asphyxiation.

Just hours before his death, Plunkett told neighbors that he feared for his safety.

Police were informed but when they arrived they found Plunkett lying on the lawn. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sources told the Herald there was no sexual motive in this bizarre case.

Neighbors said Plunkett’s safety was an ongoing concern as the chief suspect had made violent threats against him and at least one other person in the past. It is not known whether the suspect was involved in psychiatric treatment at the time of the murder.

The victim’s only daughter, Cathy Bottomley, identified her father’s body at Waterford Regional Hospital.

She said, “My father was a quiet man.

“He was well-liked by all his neighbors and friends in Ballyedmond.

“The only thing I can say is that I want to find out what really happened to him.”

Originally from Carrick-on-Suir, in County Tipperary, Plunkett moved to the UK when he was a younger man, where he worked as a craft baker.

He returned to Ireland 20 years ago with his wife Elizabeth and their daughter, Cathy. His wife died of cancer. Sometime after this he started a relationship with a younger woman.

Plunket’s death continues to be treated as a murder. A file is being prepared by the police to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in Ireland (DPP).

Crime scene at Ballyrea, County WexfordGoogle Images