Human remains have been found by detectives investigating the alleged murders of an elderly couple in Essex, with cops believing they could have died as far back as five years.
Virginia McCullough, 35, is accused of murdering John and Lois McCullough between August 21, 2018, and September 15, 2023, in Chelmsford.
It is understood the pair, who were both in their 70s, are the defendant’s parents.
Ms McCullough, of Pump Hill, Chelmsford, was not asked to enter pleas during a two-minute hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Monday (September 18).
She was remanded in custody and will appear at Basildon Crown Court on Tuesday (September 19).
Essex Police said on Monday that the remains of two people have been found at an address in Pump Hill.
The force said it received reports of concern for the welfare of two people in their 70s on September 13.
This led officers to an address in Pump Hill, where investigative work continues.
An Essex Police spokesperson said: “As a result of the extensive work carried out by a dedicated team, we have recovered the remains of two people from the address.
“Although formal identification is yet to take place, Essex Police believe these to be the remains of John McCullough and Lois McCullough, both aged in their 70s.”
The spokesperson added: “As part of work connected to this investigation, officers are continuing to search addresses in and around Pump Hill. This policing presence is expected to continue for the coming days.”
Mr and Mrs McCullough’s family members, who are being supported by specialist officers, said in a statement released through the police: “We are deeply shocked by their deaths and ask for privacy at this difficult time.”
Det Supt Rob Kirby, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “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 force is encouraging anyone with information to get in touch. You can submit information at mipp.police.uk/operation/4201020123Q71-PO1