'Someone close' killer of Ashburton mother

Last updated 05:00 18/12/2012
Sina Solomona's stepbrother
DEVASTATION: Solomona’s stepbrother places flowers at the Ashburton scene.

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Police investigating the murder of Ashburton mother Sina Nerisa Solomona say they believe the violent attack was "targeted to her" by someone "close".

However, her family, partner and former partners have been so far ruled out.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Rae revealed yesterday a weapon had been recovered from the Cass St property where the 22-year-old was found in a pool of blood early on Saturday.

However, he refused to say if the weapon was used in the killing.

"At this stage police are not in a position to elaborate on what the item is, nor to confirm whether it was used in the attack on the victim," he said.

Solomona was still alive when her stepbrother found her about 2.40am.

He ran for help, and family members were understood to have gone to the house and attempted CPR before she was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Rae confirmed the investigation was a murder inquiry.

An autopsy was completed last night.

Rae said it appeared the killer was someone "close" to Solomona.

"[The attack] was targeted to her," he said.

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

Rae said police had spoken to Solomona's current partner, and her former partners.

"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 3-year-old daughter had not lived in Ashburton for some months, he said.

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 when she arrived home just after 2am, Rae said.

Police were considering associates and friends of associates.

Rae said the weapon recovered by police was among some "items of interest" found at the scene.

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

Anuella Solomona told the Ashburton Guardian her daughter was a loving and beautiful person and 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 when her stepson found Solomona, initially he could not open the back door and thought she was playing around by not letting him in, but then he saw she was injured and ran down the street in a panic to get help.

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

A family friend said the whole town was reeling from the news: "It's dumbfounded the community."

People at the Devon Tavern, where Solomona and her twin sister had their 21st birthday party, said her death was "a bloody shock".

Bartender Toni Guy said Solomona was "very bubbly, happy and friendly".

"I didn't know her well, but what I knew of her, when she was around you want to smile," Guy said.

The Devon has started a collection bucket on the bar for Solomona's family, as her stepsister works there.

Cleaner Laura Davis said her son used to work at Canterbury Meat Packers with Solomona.

"We all know her. All the CMPs come in here and have their breakup dos. She used to come in with her family. She's nice, a hard case - happy go lucky," she said. "It's a bloody shock."

- The Press

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