Published Friday, 28 September 2012
Jill Meagher went missing in Australia. (© UTV)
Mrs Meagher went missing last weekend in Melbourne. Her body was discovered in a shallow grave in the early hours of Friday (Australia time). She was raped and murdered.
A major investigation was launched into the 29-year-old's disappearance, who was last seen leaving a bar in the city she had been out with colleagues.
Mrs Meagher, also known as Gillian, was a journalist with ABC Radio.
Michael McKeon acknowledged the role that social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, played in the search for his niece.
"We believe that has helped us in the search, but it's not the outcome that we had hoped and prayed for.
"We thank people around the world who have helped support us, but the McKeon and Meagher family will have to plan now to grieve for Gillian," he said.
This is going to be one of the greatest, hardest things given that only three years ago we came together for the marriage of this lovely couple.
A 41-year-old man has appeared in court charged with the rape and murder of Mrs Meagher.
Adrian Ernest Bayley, who is from Melbourne, was remanded in custody at the city's Magistrates' Court.
The victim's husband, Tom Meagher, sat in the court just metres from the man accused of killing his wife.
After the hearing he praised Victoria Police, the media and public for support during the search for Mrs Meagher and the subsequent manhunt.
"I've been really humbled by the support of the Australian public and tireless efforts of the police and all friends and family who have put their lives on hold to help us out," he said.
"While I really appreciate the support I'd just like to point out that negative comments on social media may hurt legal proceedings."
Mr McKeon also appealed for relatives to be given space to grieve.
A book of condolence is to be opened in Mrs Meagher's hometown of Drogheda on Monday.
The town's mayor Paul Bell said: "I feel a huge sense of grief and sadness for the loss of a most beautiful human being and can only sympathise with Jill's family in what can only be described as unbearable pain and shock at the loss of their relative and friend."
© UTV News