Remains found in search for missing couple as daughter appears in court

Remains found in search for missing couple as daughter appears in court

POLICE investigating a missing couple have uncovered human remains, while their daughter has appeared in court charged with their murders.

Virginia McCullough, 35, of Pump Hill, Chelmsford, Essex appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Monday and via video link at Basildon Crown Court on Tuesday.

It follows the discovery on Monday of human remains, believed to be those of the defendant's parents, John and Lois.

McCullough is accused of murdering the couple at some point between August 21, 2018 and September 15, 2023.

She was not asked to enter a plea and no application for bail was made.

McCullough was remanded into custody until a bail hearing in December, with a trial provisionally scheduled for May 2024.


Last Wednesday, Essex Police received reports of concern for the welfare of two people aged in their 70s.

This led officers to an address in Pump Hill, Chelmsford, Essex after which a woman was arrested.

McCullough was charged with murder on Sunday and while police could not confirm the whereabouts of the missing people, they said it was their 'strong belief' they were no longer alive.

On Monday, investigators recovered the remains of two people from the address.

Although formal identification is yet to take place, police believe the remains are those of John and Lois McCullough.

Officers are continuing to search addresses in and around Pump Hill as part of their investigation.


Speaking after Monday’s discovery, Detective Superintendent Rob Kirby of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: "This continues to be an incredibly complex investigation.

"Our work will continue throughout the coming days, as our specialist officers and staff continue to piece together all elements of this matter.

"Officers will carry out work at addresses in and around Pump Hill throughout the coming days.

"I would continue to urge against speculation as these enquiries continue.

"A family is grieving the loss of two relatives and officers are supporting them."