Man found frozen solid in fish shop's store room in Ireland

The thawed remains of a long-missing Dublin criminal whose body was found, frozen rock solid, in the storage room of a fishmongers' shop were inspected by pathologists Wednesday.

The Iranian owner of the Mermaid Fish Shop in Galway, western Ireland, last week found the body of Patrick McCormack, 52, concealed inside a long-neglected plastic container.

An examination of the body of McCormack - who appeared to have been badly beaten and had his hands tied behind his back - has been repeatedly delayed at Dublin City Morgue because the body had not defrosted. But the work began Wednesday under the supervision of Ireland's assistant state pathologist, Dr. Michael Curtis.

The police officer leading the murder investigation, Superintendent Tom Curley, said detectives were exploring the possibility that McCormack's body had been in the freezer since mid-2002, when his car was found abandoned in the western county of Clare.

McCormack, a Dublin native, had criminal convictions for robbery and was on a police list of suspected drug dealers at the time of his disappearance.