Elderly British couple murdered outside their Cyprus home.
Cyprus police informed the Foreign Office yesterday they had found the bodies of Reece and Anne Mahoney at their home in Lapta, in northern Cyprus.
The couple, who were in their sixties and seventies, had moved to the Turkish Cypriot-held north of the island 20 years ago.
A spokesman said they werecurrently tracing next of kin to inform them of the deaths.
A spokesman for Cyprus Police said the couple's bodies were found at 9.30am yesterday outside their home by their cleaner.
He said they had both been attacked with a knife and had been dead for some days before their bodies were discovered.
Police have launched a murder inquiry and are searching the area.
The couple were involved incharity work for the Kyrenia Animal Rescue, which works with the RSPCA to care for animals in Cyprus.
The rescue group was set up in 1997 to help stray animals found on the streets and built a compound in Karaoglanoglu.
Margaret Ray, chairwoman of the centre, said they were shocked to hear of the couple's death yesterday.
She said Anne, aged 64, and Reece, aged 71, were devoted to each other'They were two absolutely lovely people and spent their lives helping animals.
'They were such nice people and we don't know how anyone could have done this to them.'
Mrs Ray said the couple had been involved with the rescue centre for several years and helped with fund-raising events and collection boxes.
They manned a stall every Friday at the Pegasus Restaurant in Kyrenia to raise moneyMrs Ray said the couple had three dogs and two cats of their own, which she was now caring for.
They lived in a nice area in Lower Lapta but their house had a very mature garden and many trees, so it could not be seen from the road.
She said she understood a lot of jewellery and Anne's handbag had been stolen from their home.
She added: 'Everybody loved them and they socialiseda lot and enjoyed going out for meals.
'They were a loving couple and devoted to each other and loved living in North Cyprus and loved the people here.
'This is just not the sort of thing that happens out here, we are all in a state of shock.'
The couple were both retired and were often visited by Anne's brother in Cyprus.
Mrs Ray said she believed Reece had a son from a former marriage