DETECTIVES have launched a double murder investigation after two men were butchered in “homophbic” attacks in their own homes.
Cops are quizzing a 22-year-old man in connection with the deaths, and are probing whether the killer met his victims on a dating app in Sligo, Ireland.
Aidan Moffitt, 41, and Michael Snee, 58, were brutally murdered in their own homes just three kilometers apart on Monday and Tuesday.
Gardai are probing weather the slayings are homophobic in nature, with a third man coming forward claiming he has been attacked.
Armed cops arrested the man yesterday in co-ordinated raids, and he continues to be quizzed by officers.
It is understood that he was praying when he was arrested by police at 1.45am on Wednesday.
Officers believe that both men met their killer on a popular gay dating app, and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
Tragic Aidan was last seen alive on Sunday afternoon, with cops discovering his body on Monday at around 8.30pm
Officers have confirmed that the auctioneer suffered “significant injuries” to the body and neck.
Michael’s mutilated remains were then found at his apartment by officers at 10.30pm on Tuesday evening.
Chief Superintendent Aidan Glacken said: “Michael and Aidan were well known and respected in this community.
“They were assaulted and murdered in their own homes. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families at this time and indeed their friends and the wider community in Sligo.
“We continue to retain an open mind in this investigation. I continue to appeal to the public for their assistance in that regard.
“We are actively investigating as to whether there is any hate related motive to these murders.
“An Garda Síochána will endeavour to seek out all the available evidence, and ultimately it will be for a court to decide on the motivation behind these appalling crimes.
“Gardaí are also investigating whether Michael and Aidan met their attacker online.
He was a very caring individual, very dignified and what happened wasn’t in any way dignified and it’s just horrific
“I am appealing to any person who may have been subject of any unwanted approaches or who was assaulted or otherwise attacked to contact the incident room at Sligo Garda Station.”
Officers also confirmed that they were looking into a third incident after a man complained that he had been attacked on Saturday.
He reportedly did not give officers the exact details of his meeting with his attacker but divulged further information following the discovery of Mr Moffitt’s remains.
Both bodies were removed from the scenes and taken to University Hospital in Sligo for post mortem.
Garda technical experts continue to search for forensic evidence at the scene of both murders today.
Sligo-Leitrim TD Frank Feighan, a close friend of Mr Moffitt, said a “cloud of worry and fear” now hung over the town.
He added: “The community is stunned. The last few days had brought huge concern to the area.
“People were trying to come to terms with what had happened — the murders of two men and the other attack in which a man was so badly beaten that he lost an eye.
“The level of violence is absolutely shocking. It is something that Sligo is not used to.”
‘LIT UP THE WORLD’
Paying tribute to Mr Moffitt, friend Blaine Gaffney said: “He was a very, very intelligent, honest and caring person who was an all around good guy.
“He was a very caring individual, very dignified and what happened wasn’t in any way dignified and it’s just horrific.
“It’s quite chilling, it’s quite scary. There’s been talks about a lot of things that have happened in Sligo over the last four days but this particular thing would be really, really scary that somebody so dignified could be treated so undignified.
“And to think that it was hate related, you would never say the words hate and Aidan, he lit up the world.”
Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said: “Deeply troubled to read about the two suspected murders in Sligo.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Sligo Garda Station on 071-9157088, the Garda Confidential line on 1800-666-111 or any garda station.
Limerick Pride announced a vigil will be held in honour of murder victims Mr Moffitt and Mr Snee.
The vigil will take place on Monday, April 18 at 6pm in Arthur’s Quay Park.
Source: The Sun