Ronald Lyons charged with murder of housemate Samantha Kelly

Ronald Lyons, Christine Lyons and Peter Arthur outside the home they shared with Samantha Kelly in the Bendigo suburb of Kangaroo Flat. Photo: Simon O’DwyerThe third housemate allegedly involved in the death of Bendigo woman Samantha Kelly has been charged with murder.

Ronald Lyons, 44, was initially charged with being an accessory to murder, but on Monday night police upgraded that charge.

“Police have today interviewed a man and upgraded his charges in relation to the death of Kangaroo Flat woman Samantha Kelly,” police spokeswoman Amelia Penhall said.

The body of 39-year-old Samantha Kelly was found in bushland near Bendigo-Maryborough Road in Shelbourne on February 11 this year.

Police believe she was killed “on or about” January 20, at the Kangaroo Flat home she shared with her three housemates.

The 44-year-old man, and husband of Christine Lyons, will appear at Swan Hill Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.

Mrs Lyons had her charges upgraded from being an accessory to murder to murder in early August.

Another housemate, Peter James Arthur, 44, was also charged with murder.

Between the alleged murder of Ms Kelly, and their eventual arrest on February 12, the three allegedly took over the care of Ms Kelly’s four children.

They allegedly concocted a story that their mother had “abandoned them”, before re-enrolling one daughter at school under a different surname.

The three housemates appeared in photographs for several newspapers after Ms Kelly’s disappearance, in an apparent attempt to raise awareness of the missing person.

Ms Penhall said the two others appeared in court on September 14.

with Adam Holmes and Bendigo Advertiser

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