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Woman wanted over the double murder of two best friends in Ireland is arrested in South Africa

Ruth Lawrence, on the run for eight years for the double murder of her two best friends, has been arrested in South Africa

Woman wanted in the double murder of two best friends in Ireland is arrested in South Africa after eight years on the run

  • Ruth Lawrence was arrested after a dawn raid in Bloemfontein yesterday
  • She was wanted for the murders of Eoin O’Connor and Anthony Keegan
  • She fled Ireland in 2014 with her boyfriend who is in prison for a separate murder

An Irish woman on the run for eight years for the double murder of two best friends has been arrested in South Africa.

Ruth Lawrence, 42, from Clontarf in North Dublin was at the center of a global manhunt after the brutal murders of Eoin O’Connor and Anthony Keegan in 2014.

The Hawks – an elite unit of South African police – said they were acting on an international warrant when they carried out the dawn raid in Pellissier, Bloemfontein, yesterday.

Ruth Lawrence, on the run for eight years for the double murder of her two best friends, has been arrested in South Africa

Ruth Lawrence, on the run for eight years for the double murder of her two best friends, has been arrested in South Africa

She appeared in court today and has been remanded in custody until October 10.

She disappeared from Ireland in 2014 shortly after the murders with her boyfriend Neville Van Westhuizen, 39, and headed for her native South Africa.

Her boyfriend is also wanted in connection with the double murder, but is already serving a life sentence in South Africa for a gruesome murder.

He is serving 15 years in Durban for the 2017 murder of a teenager, but will be questioned by the Hawks after Lawrence is arrested.

Lawrence parted ways with him that year.

The Gardai confirmed that the two Irish victims were not criminals or part of a drug gang, but did not reveal the motive for the double murder.

Eoin O'Connor

Anthony Kegan

Lawrence, 42, from Clontarf in North Dublin was at the center of a global manhunt after the brutal murders of Eoin O’Connor (left) and Anthony Keegan (right) in 2014

The couple were found wrapped in plastic sheeting and buried in a shallow grave on Inchicup Island, Lough Sheelin in County Meath eight years ago.

Hawks spokesman Captain Christopher Singo said vital information about Lawrence and his whereabouts was received on September 28.

Captain Singo said: “His arrest follows an Interpol warrant in connection with the murder of Eoin O’Connor, 32, and Anthony Keegan, 33, in Ireland.

“They were both found murdered in 2014 and following the murder of the deceased, the suspect subsequently fled the country to South Africa.”

Lawrence had never come to the attention of the Gardai before the 2014 double murder.

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