Dublin woman who left Ireland for South Africa after double murder remanded in custody

Ruth Lawrence was arrested in Bloemfontein after police received a tip-off late last month as to her whereabouts

A Dublin woman who left Ireland for South Africa in 2014 following a double murder has been remanded in custody until October 12th, when she is scheduled to appear in court for a bail hearing.

Ruth Lawrence (42), originally from Clontarf, was arrested on Tuesday in Bloemfontein in the Free State after South African police received a tip-off late last month as to her whereabouts in the landlocked province.

According to Capt Christopher Singo, the provincial spokesperson for the Hawks, an elite South African police unit, Lawrence was taken into custody at a house in the suburb of Pellissier after Interpol issued a warrant for her arrest.

“Her arrest comes after Interpol issued a warrant of arrest against her regarding the murder of Eoin O’ Connor and Anthony Keegan who were found murdered in Ireland in 2014. After the murder of the deceased persons, the suspect then fled the country,” Capt Singo said in a statement.


Lawrence left Ireland in 2014 with her then boyfriend Neville van der Westhuizen (39) after both victims were found wrapped in plastic sheeting and buried in a shallow grave on Inchicup Island, Lough Sheelin in Co Meath.

Mr van der Westhuizen is also wanted for the murders of Mr O’Connor (32) and Mr Keegan (33), but he is currently serving a sentence in a South African prison for a separate murder.

Capt Singo said the police received information about Lawrence’s location on September 28th.

“The police followed up on the information and arrested the suspect in Pellissier, Bloemfontein,” he said.

Lawrence is being held in custody at a police station in the Free State provincial capital until she appears at the Bloemfontein Magistrate Court next week, when she will be given the opportunity to apply for bail.