A community is "dumbfounded" after a young mother was found lying dead in a pool of blood with traumatic head injuries in her Ashburton home on Saturday.
Sina Nerisa Solomona, 22, was found just inside the back door of her home about 2.40am by a family member.
Detective Senior Sergeant John Rae, of Christchurch police, said Ms Solomona finished a shift at Canterbury Meat Packers about 1am then spent time at a friend's house until her twin sister's partner picked her up and dropped her home just after 2am.
It is believed she was attacked between 2.20am and 2.40am.
Mr Rae said a visiting family member called for help at 2.43am after finding her "lying on the floor in a pool of blood" just inside the back door.
Ms Solomona, originally from Porirua, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Mr Rae said she may have other injuries, but would not comment further. "It's a suspicious death. It's probably more than that . . . it's quite likely to be a homicide."
Ms Solomona lived at the Cass St property with her 3-year-old daughter, Kaira, and several extended family members, including her twin sister and mother.
Mr Rae said Ms Solomona's family and friends were deeply shocked by her death. Police had questioned neighbours, family, friends and associates.
A family friend said everyone was reeling from the news.
"It's dumbfounded the community. It's just a shock."
Neighbours in the quiet residential street were upset that a suspected homicide had happened so close to their homes.
One, who did not want to be named, said it scared her to think someone could have murdered Ms Solomona and was still walking the streets.
"It's horrible that someone that is so young with a little kid has been killed."
A Facebook tribute page "Rest In Paradise Sina Solomona" already has about 900 members.
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)."
Police scoured the neighbourhood for items yesterday, but would not say what they were looking for. "We still have some way to go before we can determine what happened, " Mr Rae said.
An autopsy to establish the cause of Ms Solomona's death and ascertain her injuries will take place in Christchurch today. Fairfax NZ
- Fairfax Media