MOTHER-of-four Dolores McCrea disappeared in January 2004 – the following year, her estranged husband Gary was convicted of her murder.
Dolores had left McCrea, who was violent and abusive, but he continued to harass her.
Who was Dolores McCrea?
Dolores went missing from County Donegal, Ireland in January 2004.
The community fundraiser and devoted mother had left the family home and moved into a flat with her four daughters the previous year.
She met husband Gary McCrea at a dance in 1984, and quickly fell for him.
They got married in 1984, but McCrea's violent and abusive behaviour made home life hell for the family, and she eventually left him.
After Dolores left, McCrea is said to have become obsessive and jealous, even telling family and friends that he would kill her.
What happened to Dolores McCrea?
Dolores went to see her estranged husband to sell him her old car before heading to a meeting with her darts team on January 20, 2004.
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But she never made it to the darts meeting.
The prosecution argued that McCrea murdered her and disposed of her body in a fire in the back garden of the family home.
Dolores' daughters realised something was wrong when she was not there to take them to school on January 21, 2004.
Eventually a police search of the home Gary and Dolores had shared revealed that bones had been burnt in a fire in the garden.
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Forensic examination of the bones couldn't link them to Dolores because they had been so badly burnt, but a forensic dental surgeon said that the charred teeth removed from the fire were consistent with Dolores' dental records.
In 2005, Gary was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering Dolores.
McCrea pleaded not guilty and appealed his sentence in 2007 – but it was rejected.
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When was Murder My Sweetheart: The Killing Of Dolores McCrea on Channel 5?
Dolores' murder was the subject of Channel 5 Documentary Murder My Sweetheart: The Killing of Dolores McCrea, which aired in March, 2022.
It features interviews with family members and detectives, and is available to watch on-demand on Channel5.com until December 16, 2026.
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