Body of murdered woman returned

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 16:48 19/12/2012
Sina Solomona

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

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The body of murdered Ashburton woman Sina Narisa Solomona has been returned to her family.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Rae said her body was returned to the family today, but he was unsure when a funeral would be held.

Investigators have established Solomona, 22, was violently attacked in her Cass St home between 2.20am and 2.40am on Saturday.

They believe the killing was planned, and most likely carried out by someone she knew.

Her injuries included blunt trauma and blade wounds to her head, face and throat.

Rae said investigators were today taking a record of every item that was in the Cass St house.

He said Solomona's mother would be taken through the home late today or tomorrow to see whether anything was missing or something was there that should not have been.

Rae said police hoped to be able to return the home to the family tomorrow.

They have been living elsewhere in the town since her death.

Rumours circulating Ashburton that an arrest had been made were untrue, Rae said.

Investigations in the past few days have centred on a bloody handprint found near the scene of the murder.

Rae said yesterday that police had seized all the clothing from the bin where the handprint was found for forensic examination.

They were also checking other clothing bins in Ashburton for any items of interest or bloodied clothing that may be related to the murder.

More details about the possible motive for the killing and the injuries inflicted on Solomona emerged yesterday.

Rae said the killing had the hallmarks of a planned attack.

It was likely the killer knew Solomona would be there by herself and intended to cause her death, he said.

"She was a single woman alone in a house at that particular time. We can assume it [the motive] is likely to be sexual; that's part of it."

He said Solomona was fully clothed and there was nothing to suggest she had been raped.

There was no sign of forced entry to the house, and the back door was unlocked and closed when she was found in a pool of blood by her stepbrother about 2.40am.

The front door was locked and the windows were closed.

"We assume whoever it was went in the back door," Rae said.

There was no evidence of a fight or scuffle, and there was no sign of any defensive wounds to Solomona's hands and arms.

"It's quite likely there was some planning in it. Whether they were disturbed or someone knocked on the door and she was there, I don't know."

A weapon was found close to her body, Rae said. However, he refused to say what it was, or if it was used in the attack.

Rae said police were confident of making an arrest, and officers had so far spoken to about 25 people.

"We'll bring someone to justice for it. It's a horrific crime," he said.

Police said they believed the killer specifically targeted Solomona, and there was no risk to the public.

Solomona's colleagues returned to work at Canterbury Meat Packers in Ashburton on Monday night for a tough shift without the "bubbly" 22-year-old.

Her supervisor, Mark Broker, said Solomona's colleagues had "rallied together" but he had to send some staff home before the shift ended.

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"It was tough getting through last night," he said yesterday.

Her workmates were being offered counselling.

- The Press

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