The family of a young mother stabbed to death at an Easter party in Bangor have said they are “devastated” by the loss.
Police in the Co Down seaside town launched a murder investigation after 21-year-old Katie Hughes was attacked while enjoying a party in the Park Avenue area.
Detectives arrested a man in his 20s after the mother-of-one, from the Chatsworth area of Bangor, was stabbed and rushed to hospital where she died a short time later.
Police were called to the Easter party being held in a quiet residential area close to the centre of the town at about midnight on Tuesday.
At the Hughes family home on the outskirts of Bangor, a short drive from the murder scene, Katie’s heartbroken mother was being comforted by friends and relatives. She told the Belfast Telegraph she was too distressed to give an interview.
“We’re just too devastated to speak,” she said.
The dead woman is also survived by a sister Gillian and brother Nick.
Katie was the mother of a young daughter and a former pupil of Bloomfield Collegiate which she is believed to have left in 2003.
Staff at the school expressed their shock at the news.
Billy Cairns, whose son lives in the house in Park Avenue which the party was held at, said his son held Katie while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
“The girl was stabbed. My son held her until the ambulance came,” he said.
The party was for friends who were going to Australia.
Mr Cairns said his son and girlfriend moved into the mid-terrace property in January.
He added: “My son and two friends stepped outside for a smoke.
“There was no rowing or anything, he said it was completely out of the blue.
“He heard a noise and he came in and the girl had been stabbed."
Katie kept a page on the social networking site Facebook which saw a number of friends posting words of their shock and sadness yesterday.
One man wrote: “katie tell me ur ok... write back asap.”
The poignant message was left by a friend from Philadelphia.
Another friend wrote “katie rip.xx” while a third posted on the website saying she “thought the world had gone crazy”.
“Sending lots of love to the Hughes today. x,” she added.