Garda using CCTV to test claims of murdered woman’s husband

Joanne Lee’s estranged partner says they were trying to reconcile before her death in Ranelagh

Supr Gerry Delmar speaks to the press outside a house on Ranelagh Road where the body of a woman believed to be Joanne Lee, aged 38, was found in a wardrobe by gardaí. Video: Colin Keegan/Collins Photo Agency


Gardaí are gathering CCTV footage from a number of locations in Dublin that murdered woman Joanne Lee’s estranged husband has said they visited together in the days leading up to her death.

Keith Lee (41) remains seriously injured in a Dublin hospital but gardaí hope he can be interviewed at length in coming days.

As they wait for approval from medical staff to question Mr Lee, investigators are examining some of the claims he has made about himself, his estranged wife and their movements in the week to 10 days before her body was found.

Ms Lee (38), from Coolock in north Dublin, was found dead in the wardrobe of a flat in Ranelagh last Thursday. A postmortem established that she was strangled.

When gardaí arrived to make inquiries at the third floor property, the door was barricaded but movements could be heard inside. After seeing her car outside, they feared Ms Lee was inside in a distressed state and decided to break down the door.

As they attempted to access to the flat, Mr Lee, who was inside, jumped out the window.

Gardaí found a Rottweiler dog inside the property and Ms Lee’s body. A plastic bag had been placed over her head and the body was in a sleeping bag that had been tied tightly. Detectives believe she had been dead for at least 48 hours, possibly more, before her body was found.

One Garda member came to the aid of Mr Lee who suffered multiple broken bones in the fall, including to his legs and ribs. He was also suffering from some self-inflicted injuries. He was taken to St Vincent’s University Hospital, where he remains. He had been working in hotel kitchens in Dublin until late last year and had not previously come to the attention of the Garda.

The last known sighting of Ms Lee was on February 5th near Garristown, Co Meath, where the couple had lived for some time.

Mr Lee has told gardaí that he and his wife separated last year after he admitted having an extra marital relationship. He claims that in the 10 days before Ms Lee’s death they had been trying to reconcile.

Gardaí are trying to determine if that was the case and are collecting CCTV footage recorded at a number of locations in Dublin that Mr Lee claims he and the deceased visited together.

The Garda Technical Bureau and Garda search teams have been examining the apartment in Ranelagh, and the home the couple had shared in Garristown.


Just two days before Ms Lee’s body was found her husband had reported her missing to gardaí at Store Street station.He had said he was also concerned for her welfare as she had attempted suicide when she learned of his affair last year.

Mr Lee also said he and his estranged wife had been staying at a house on the North Strand during the previous week as part of their efforts to reconcile.

Gardaí took all of the details from him and began a missing persons inquiry. However, when they went to the North Strand address to make checks, the homeowners insisted neither person had been staying there.

Gardaí became concerned the information they had been provided was not correct, and when efforts to contact Mr Lee were not successful, the inquiry was scaled up.