Dunmurry area left in shock by murder of mother-of-three

Jennifer Dornan as photographed on the night of her death
Jennifer Dornan as photographed on the night of her death

Police are seeking a motive for the murder of a mother-of-three in Dunmurry.

Jennifer Dornan, 30, was found dead at 5am on Sunday at her house in Hazel View.

Detectives have declined to divulge the exact nature of her injuries but said the killer tried to cover their tracks by setting fire to her home.

The second floor of the two-storey terrace appeared totally destroyed and witnesses said the flames could be seen from miles away.

Det Supt Kevin Geddes said: “Jennifer, we know, was a young mum.

“Jennifer was very, very popular. Jennifer was very active in the community.

“At this stage we don’t know why Jennifer died or why somebody would choose to kill her.”

Hundreds of people have attended a candle lit vigil at the scene and an online campaign to raise funds for her family has already exceeded £10,000.

Mr Geddes said: “It goes without saying that her family are devastated, firstly by the news of her death, and, within the past few hours, the added heartbreak that this was a murder.

“Jennifer leaves behind three young children – two boys and a girl all under nine. Quite simply, they do not understand what has happened to their mum.”

Detectives appealed to members of the community who saw her socialising with friends at the Devenish Complex on Saturday night or during the early hours of Sunday to contact them.

Ms Dornan and her friends left the venue at Finaghy Road North at about 1.30am and went back to a friend’s house. At 3am, Ms Dornan left to walk the short distance home.

Detectives are also keen to speak to occupants of a small silver car which sped away from the Hazel View area at the time of the murder.

Photos taken at the scene showed the fire had caused serious damage to the flat.

The roof appeared to have collapsed, a number of windows on the front of the property had been broken and there were signs of extensive smoke damage.

Emergency services attended the blaze after the police received a report of a house fire shortly before 5am yesterday.