A homeless man has been found with his head cut off and arms missing after not being seen since Christmas Day.
Named locally as Francis ‘Frankie’ Dunne, the victim was discovered in undergrowth near a boarded-up derelict house in Cork, Ireland, by a neighbour at around 4pm on Saturday.
The 64-year-old had not been seen since December 25 and is thought to have been at the scene for around three days.
His body was found in the garden of the 19th-century two-storey detached Castlegreina House, known locally as ‘The Castle’, which has been unoccupied for several years and is said to be used by homeless people.
Mr Dunne was well-known to volunteers who help homeless people in the local area, according to the Irish Examiner.
Garda Supt Michael Comyns, who is leading the investigation, said he could not say if the murder took place in the area where the body was found.
He added police believe the body had only been at the scene ‘a matter of days’ and that the dead man suffered ‘severe injuries’.
A murder probe was launched on Sunday after a postmortem was carried out at Cork University Hospital by a pathologist.
The scene at Castlegreina House in Cork where the body of a man was found on Saturday. It is thought he could have been at the scene since Christmas Day
Castlegreina House has been unoccupied for years and there have been incidents of anti-social behaviour in the area as people gathered around the house to drink, according to local reports.
Caitriona Twomey, who runs the Penny Dinners charity in Cork, described Mr Dunne as a ‘gentle soul’.
She told the Irish Mirror: ‘We knew Frankie very well and he was a gentle soul.