THE family of a Blackpool man murdered and dumped in an Irish river cannot lay his body to rest until next year.
John Forrester has been at the morgue in Cork University Hospital for almost a month following his brutal murder in Bandon, County Cork.
And the father of four’s body will not be released until all forensic and pathology test results have been received by the Gardai – the Irish police.
Because of the complex nature of Mr Forrester’s murder probe, and the fact detectives are dealing with two crime scenes – the body of a 27-year-old man was recovered just hours prior to the discovery of Mr Forrester – the full lab results are not expected for several weeks.
Detectives already have some preliminary results but Gardai and the Cork County Coroner will only release the body when they are satisfied no follow-on tests will be required.
This means Mr Forrester’s family, who were tracked down in Blackpool and Lincoln, will not be able to hold a funeral for their loved one until at least mid January.
Mr Forrester, who was born in Blackpool, was recovered from the River Bandon in west Cork on November 15.
His hands and feet were bound and he had been wrapped in a rug. He died from multiple stab injuries to his head and neck, sustained in what was described as a frenzied attack.
Earlier this month Mr Forrester’s sister, niece and nephew, laid a wreath at the spot where his body was recovered.
They also met with the family of Jonathan Duke who was discovered in the same river just 36 hours before Mr Forrester.
Two people are now before the courts charged with Mr Duke’s murder.
But investigations into Mr Forrester’s murder are ongoing.
Both Mr Duke and Mr Forrester lived in the same building – Bridge House in Bandon which overlooks the river.
Mr Forrester was nicknamed ‘Johnny English’ and ‘Rambler’ in Bandon and suffered from a chronic alcohol problem.
He was described by his aunt as a ‘happy child’ who she wished she had known more recently.
His auntie Joyce Rivett told The Gazette her sister had married Mr Forrester’s dad, also called John and the couple owned a B&B on Dickson Road.
She believes the couple moved to Lincoln and later Jersey before moving to Spain, where her nephew worked as a ski instructor.
It is unclear whether Mr Forrester’s funeral will be held in Ireland or repatriated to the UK.