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Police identify type of knife used to kill mum Jennifer Dornan

By Rebecca Black

Published 07/08/2015

A police forensics officer at the scene in Lagmore, Belfast, where the 30-year-old was found dead
A police forensics officer at the scene in Lagmore, Belfast, where the 30-year-old was found dead
Murder victim Jennifer Dornan
A photograph issued by the PSNI yesterday of a knife similar to one it believes was used to murder Jennifer Dornan

The PSNI has released a photograph of a knife that it says is similar to the one used to murder young mother Jennifer Dornan.

The 30-year-old died in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Police last night released a 39-year-old man arrested in connection with the killing. He was freed pending a report to prosecutors.

He was arrested on Wednesday in west Belfast on suspicion of withholding information.

Initially it was believed Ms Dornan died in a house fire.

But a post-mortem examination revealed she had been stabbed before the blaze.

The knife used to kill Ms Dornan is almost 14 inches long and has distinctive orange and white markings.

Detective Superintendent Kevin Geddes urged anyone who has come across a knife that meets this description since Sunday to contact officers.

"We are grateful to the community for the amount of assistance they have provided in the past few days and would ask for their continued support," he said.

Det Supt Geddes said officers were particularly interested in the movements and whereabouts of a man seen leaving Ms Dornan's home at 4.20am on Sunday.

"We believe he walked from Hazel View, through Lagmore to Poleglass," he said.

"We believe he was wearing a grey T-shirt or sweat top and a light coloured bomber jacket. At some stage we believe he got rid of the grey top and light-coloured jacket and obtained a red and gold sports jersey.

"We are appealing to anyone who has knowledge of any of these items of clothing or the knife to contact us."

She leaves behind three young children, Martin, Jayden and Abbey - believed to be between eight and four years of age - who are being cared for by her mother Teresa.

The funeral will take place at noon from Christ the Redeemer Church in Lagmore, not far from her burned-out house.

Ms Dornan's partner Martin Smith published a heartfelt tribute to her yesterday.

Mr Smith, who is believed to be in prison at the minute, said she was not just his girlfriend, but also his best friend.

"You were never meant to leave me, you were never meant to go, how do I go on without you, I don't know," he wrote.

Hundreds of people turned up for a candlelit vigil for Ms Dornan on Monday evening.

Her father Stephen has urged the local community to bring any information they had to the police, so that his daughter's killer could be brought to justice.

More than £15,000 has been collected in a fundraising campaign for Ms Dornan's children.

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