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Police resume search for knife that killed Dunmurry mum Jennifer Dornan

By Rebecca Black

Published 08/08/2015

A police officer carries out a search near the murder scene
A police officer carries out a search near the murder scene

Armed police carried out detailed searches of the area close to murder victim Jennifer Dornan's home yesterday even as her funeral was held.

A procession of PSNI Land Rovers passed close by Christ the Redeemer church in Lagmore as hundreds of mourners overflowed out of the doors of the building to pay their final respects to the popular young mum.

Armed officers emerged from vehicles close to Ms Dornan's burnt-out former home on Hazel View and proceeded to carry out detailed searches in the area.

They were examining the contents of drains on the roads surrounding the area, checking cars as well as looking at an area of waste ground close to the house.

It is understood they were searching for the murder weapon.

Ms Dornan is believed to have died at some point between 3am and 5am on Sunday when her house was discovered to be on fire. She had been socialising at the Devenish complex earlier in the evening and then spent some time at a friend's house before walking a short distance to her home.

It was initially believed that she died in a house fire, but the post-mortem examination revealed that she had been stabbed several times.

So far detectives investigating Ms Dornan's murder have arrested one man, who was quizzed on suspicion of withholding information for around 48 hours before being released on Thursday pending a report to the PPS.

On Thursday the PSNI released an image of an orange knife with a 14-inch blade which they have said is similar to the weapon which was used to kill Ms Dornan.

Detective Superintendent Kevin Geddes said they want to speak to a man seen leaving Ms Dornan's home at 4.20am on Sunday. "We believe he walked from Hazel View, through Lagmore to Poleglass. We believe he was wearing a grey T-shirt or sweat top and a light-coloured bomber jacket," he said.

"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 lives on the route between Hazel View and Poleglass and who has knowledge of any of these items of clothing or the knife to contact us."

Mr Geddes also thanked the local community for "the enormous amount of assistance" they have provided to police.

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