Young mum dead: Possible weapon found

RACHEL YOUNG AND CAROLINE KING
Last updated 12:37 17/12/2012
Sina Solomona

"SWEET, LOVING, HAPPY LADY": Sina Solomona embraced life but hers was cut short early on Saturday

Detective Senior Sergeant John Rae
Kirk Hargreaves
MYSTERY: Detective Senior Sergeant John Rae said the investigation will take time.

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Police investigating the death of Ashburton woman Sina Nerisa Solomona say they have recovered a possible weapon from the scene.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Rae would not be drawn on what the possible weapon was, other than to say some "items of interest" had been obtained by police.

The investigation is now a murder inquiry.

Solomona, 22, was found by her brother just inside the back door of her Cass St home about 2.40am on Saturday.

Rae said the items would be shown to family members to determine whether they were from the house or "introduced".

"There are possibilities that we have a weapon, but we can't guarantee it," he said.

"After the post-mortem, we will have an indication if the items we've got were used in the attack."

He said police would have a better idea what caused Solomona's death after the autopsy, scheduled for this afternoon.

Rae said police had spoken to her current partner, as well as her former partners, and at this stage were satisfied they were not involved in her death.

"We've got detailed accounts of their movements and at this stage there is nothing to suggest they are involved in this."

The father of Solomona's daughter had not lived in Ashburton for some months, he said.

Family had also been ruled out at this stage.

No residents from the house - where Solomona lived with her mother, twin sister, daughter, two brothers, her mother's partner and her sister's partner - were in the house when she arrived home, Rae said.

He had "the impression" the person responsible was someone "close to her".

"It was targeted to her," he said.

"We're trying to ascertain who might want to do this."

Police were considering associates and friends of associates.

He did not believe there was any danger to the community. "I don't think at this stage we have a maniacal murderer in the community."

Solomona finished a shift at Canterbury Meat Packers about 1am on Saturday and spent time at a friend's house until the partner of her twin sister picked her up and dropped her home just after 2am.

Anuella Solomona told the Ashburton Guardian her daughter was a loving and beautiful person.

"She loved her daughter, she loves her friends, she loves anyone. Until now I'm still questioning who would do this."

She said the family was in deep shock.

"They just don't believe someone could do something like this. If there was any people hate us, any people had trouble, problem with us ... I don't think so."

She said her stepson found Sina.

Initially he could not open the back door and thought she was playing around and not letting him in, but then he saw she was injured and ran down the street in a panic to get help.

He ran into a man on a bike who cycled to a service station to raise the alarm, the Guardian reported.

The autopsy was expected to be completed by about 2pm today. Rae said the results were unlikely to be released as the homicide investigation was ongoing.

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"The body will be examined. If there are any other injuries, that will give us a far better picture of what's happened to her,'' he said.

"With a bit of luck, we'll get some more forensics as well."

A scene examination was expected to be completed by tomorrow, he said.

Rae said the family was struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.

"They're pretty shocked. They're finding it hard to cope with. Obviously it was in the family home as well," he said.

Solomona, originally from Porirua, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Rae said police had questioned neighbours, family, friends and associates about Solomona's death.

A family friend said everyone was reeling from the news. "It's dumbfounded the community. It's just a shock."

Neighbours in the quiet street were also shocked.

One, who did not want to be named, said it scared her to think someone could have murdered Solomona and was still walking the streets.

"It's horrible that someone that is so young with a little kid has been killed," she said.

A Facebook tribute page, "Rest In Paradise Sina Solomona", already has more than 1100 likes.

Tributes to Solomona talk of a "beautiful", "big-hearted", "awesome", "mischievous" mother who was "taken much too soon".

Friend Gabrielle Tamepo-Hunt wrote: "How can something so tragic happen to such an innocent sweet loving happy lady like urself [sic] Sina Solomona so horrible . . . So glad i got to know u and have fond memories of Sina. Rest in paradise."

- The Press

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