Monday 24 September 2018

Body found 'could be on-the-run fraudster' wanted by the FBI


Gardai are waiting for post mortems to confirm whether the bodies of two people found in a house this morning are that of an alleged fraudster grandmother and her boyfriend.

Julia Holmes (63) who is currently at the centre of a worldwide police hunt, had recently been traced to a farm house in Boolaglass, Askeaton, Co Limerick, where she had been renting.

According to a well-informed source, Ms Holmes - who was wanted by the FBI, PSNI and gardai - had been in a relationship with a local farmer who owns the house.

The badly decomposing bodies of a woman and a man were discovered in an upstairs bedroom by gardai at around 3am.

Detectives are investigating a number of lines of enquiry, including murder suicide.

One theory being investigated by gardai is that the couple may have died from apparent gunshot wounds.

Ms Holmes was reportedly found alongside the owner of the house, named locally as Thomas Ruttle, who is aged in his 50s. Mr Ruttle had not been seen for the past few weeks.

Gardai said they could not yet confirm at this point if the bodies were that of the missing pair.

"The bodies are decomposing so it's hard to say who they are. We don't want to say it's them if it's not, for obvious reasons," a source told the Herald.

"It appears the bodies have been there for some time," another source added.


"There appears to be a firearm at the scene, but we have to rule out a number of callers to the house in the past few weeks.

Gardai believe Mr Ruttle had a number of licensed firearms, including a shotgun and a rifle. It's understood a gun was found in the bedroom near the bodies.

The State Pathologist, Dr Marie Cassidy is travelling to the scene in west Limerick to carry out a preliminary examination of the bodies before a full post mortem this evening.

Julia Holmes, who is alleged to have used different aliases including, Croen Ruttle, Dr Watson, Julia Watson and Celia Watson, is wanted by the PSNI after going on the run in 2011.

She disappeared from her home in Ballynahinch, Co Down, in January 2011. A warrant was issued for her arrest when she failed to turn up to court in Newtownards for a series of alleged frauds totalling £18,000.

She was previously deported to Northern Ireland from the United States in 2006 after she was arrested in connection with a $500,000 property scam.

Ms Holmes recently set up a company called Irish Bee Sensation, which won a gold award at the Irish Food Awards.

There is no suggestion Mr Ruttle had anything to do with any of the alleged fraudulent activities of his girlfriend.

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