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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 October, 2003, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
McConville body 'not mutilated'
Police accompany a coffin being removed from the beach
The son of Jean McConville has said he has been told that the body found on a beach in the Irish Republic a month ago was not mutilated.

Christopher McConville said claims earlier this week that some of the woman's fingers may have been cut off at the time of her murder have caused immense distress to the McConville family.

Jean McConville, 37, a mother of 10, was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972, after she went to the aid of a fatally wounded British soldier outside her front door.

She was secretly buried during the 1970s.

The remains of a woman were found on Shelling Hill beach, in County Louth in late August.

Gardai say forensic tests to determine whether they are those of Jean McConville will take at least another month.

It starts playing with your mind and you keep wondering what did happen
Christopher McConville

Her son, Christopher, said he had been told that the body shows no signs of mutilation and that fingers are not missing.

"I have been told by the head forensics person, she has confirmed that there has been no mutilation to the body," he said.

"When you start reading it in the papers, your first reaction is my mother must have went through sheer hell.

"It starts playing with your mind and you keep wondering what did happen." In a statement at the time of the discovery of the remains, the IRA said it was hopeful this would "bring closure to the trauma and suffering endured by the McConville family".

BBC NI's Maryann Maguire reports:
"It is understood the DNA testing of the body is being done in a laboratory in England"

Dead woman's body 'mutilated'
29 Sep 03  |  Northern Ireland
IRA urged to locate bodies
28 Aug 03  |  Northern Ireland
Victim 'shot in head'
28 Aug 03  |  Northern Ireland
Remains 'belonged to woman'
27 Aug 03  |  Northern Ireland

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