When Lu Na McKinney died in April, it was assumed she died in a boating accident in Northern Ireland.
Investigators are now saying, however, that her 41-year-old husband Stephen McKinney may have caused her untimely death, according to BBC.
It was initially reported that the 35-year-old mother of two from China fell from a boat while on an Easter holiday with her family near Devenish Island in County Fermanagh. On Tuesday, Mr. McKinney, the victim’s husband of 15 years, appeared in court to face charges linking him to her death.
Police reportedly arrested and charged Stephen on suspicion of murder after a review of the circumstances surrounding the death of his wife on Thursday April 13 2017.
Omagh Magistrates’ Court heard a statement from a detective inspector who testified that the wife had died in the hands of her husband in a premeditated crime. McKinney, who lives in County Donegal, was said to have traveled around the world and has “money and property in China.”
During the hearing, it was revealed that the couple’s children, who are aged 11 and 14, were the only other people on that boat when the woman was allegedly killed. The children have not been questioned by the authorities regarding the crime.
The suspect’s lawyer said that McKinney “vehemently denied the allegation”, noting that it “was an accident and was treated as one until recently.”
McKinney, who was also charged with the possession of the hypnotic drug Zopiclone, appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates’ Court via video link on Monday, reported Mail Online.
The victim’s image was then released to the public for the first time to aid the authorities in the investigation.
“Police are issuing a photograph of Mrs. McKinney today in the hope that people will come forward with any information they have about her,” Detective Inspector David McGrory said in a statement. “I would like to hear from anyone who knew her or anyone who had contact with Mrs. McKinney, who lived in Convoy, County Donegal, in the months preceding her death.”
Upon Lu Na McKinney’s death, her neighbors described her as a “loving mother and a caring” person.
“She was just the nicest woman you could meet,” they said.
Feature image via Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)