Virginia McCullough: Woman charged with murdering parents 'within last five years' - remains found
A WOMAN appeared in court today charged with murdering her parent whose remains were found at the family home.
Virginia McCullough, 35, appeared at Basildon Crown Court today (September 19 2023) via video link from HMP Peterborough.
She is charged with the murders of Lois and John McCullough between August 2018 and September 2023.
She was not asked to enter a plea to the two murder charges.
On Sunday Essex News and Investigations was the first media outlet to name the dead couple before police and rivals did.
Judge Samantha Leigh remanded her into custody until a plea hearing on 1 December.
A provisional trial date at Chelmsford Crown Court has been set for 13 May, with an estimate it will take two weeks.
Essex Police said it received reports of concern for the wellbeing of two people aged in their 70s on September 13.
An Essex Police spokesman said: "Detectives investigating the deaths of a man and a woman in Chelmsford are in a position to confirm the remains of two people have been located. "On Wednesday 13 September, we received reports of concerns for the welfare of two people aged in their 70s. "This led officers to an address in Pump Hill, Chelmsford, where investigative work is ongoing. "As a result of the extensive work carried out by a dedicated team, we have recovered the remains of two people from the address. "Although formal identification is yet to take place, Essex Police believe these to be the remains of John McCullough, and Lois McCullough, both aged in their 70s. "As part of work connected to this investigation, officers are continuing to search addresses in and around Pump Hill. "This policing presence is expected to continue for the coming days." The family of John and Lois, who are being supported by specialist officers, have said: “We are deeply shocked by their deaths and ask for privacy at this difficult time.” Virginia McCullough, 35, of Pump Hill, Chelmsford, is charged with their murder. 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.”