The death of a former Lisburn woman in Dromore is at the centre of a police investigation which has rocked the quiet County Down town.
Margaret Weise, who was originally from the city, had been previously known as Margaret Herron. She was aged 50 when she died in August 2007.
A 66-year-old man was arrested in Dromore on Tuesday as part of an investigation into the deaths of Margaret Weise, Michelle Bickerstaff (47) and Elizabeth McKee (52).
On Wednesday they were granted extra time to question the man, who was known to all three women.
Police described the man as a ‘suspect’ but have not specified what crime he is suspected of.
At time of going to press the man had not been charged with any offence.
One local who knew all three women at the centre of the investigation described them as “all very nice girls”.
Michelle Bickerstaff, nee Sparks, 47, died in April last year.
She was a mother of four who went to school in Dromore and who had lived in nearby Blackskull for a time.
She died on April 21, with police investigating for some time what they described as her “sudden death”.
It is understood she had suffered a head injury.
Police said a man had been arrested on the day of her death and was later released unconditionally.
The second woman was Margaret Weise, previously known as Margaret Herron, who died in August 2007.
She was originally from Lisburn and married into a family by the name of Herron from that area.
A petite slim woman with blonde hair, she had twin boys and had worked in a chip shop in Dromore.
“She was such a nice person – you could not say a word against her,” a friend said.
Her son Lee Herron said: “Mum was a quiet and friendly person. She would have spoken to everybody.”
The third woman is Elizabeth (Lily) McKee, who died in December 2002.
She had been married with one daughter and was from Dromore.
Her daughter Jenny Dickson said: “Mum was fun-loving and had a great sense of humour.
“She was so kind and loved animals and children.”
Lily had been a Miss Northern Ireland winner in the 1970s.
Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said he knew some of the women and their families: “I can’t begin to contemplate what it must have meant to them,” he said.
Police have issued an appeal to the community in Dromore, asking anyone with any information to come forward.