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Head and neck injuries to lake body

A post mortem on the body of a woman, believed to missing mother-of-four Samantha Henderson, shows she was violently attacked around the head and neck.

Detective Inspector Neil Devoto, of Dorset Police's major crime investigation team, said detectives are "confident" the body is that of 25-year-old Ms Henderson. She has not been seen since leaving Corfe Castle Primary School in Dorset on January 21 at 3pm.

The body was discovered in a lake at Ham Common in Poole yesterday at around 1pm.

Her boyfriend Dominic Isom, 27, of Corfe Castle, pleaded not guilty to her murder when he appeared at Winchester Crown Court yesterday. He has been remanded in custody to stand trial on July 13.

Mr Devoto, who is leading the inquiry, said: "This afternoon a post mortem was carried out on the body recovered in Hamworthy. It confirmed that the victim had suffered a violent assault that appears to have been focused on her head and neck.

"Detectives are confident the body is that of Samantha Henderson, the 25-year-old mother-of-four from Corfe Castle missing since last week. The coroner is aware of the death and formal identification by her next of kin is expected to take place this weekend.

"Although we have recovered a body and a man is charged with murder, it is still vital that people come forward with any information that could help us build a picture of exactly what happened."

Ms Henderson, who has children aged six, four, two and one, was reported missing on January 22 at 8.43am.

Police want to hear from anyone who saw her blue Peugeot 307 estate car with the registration number HV04 ZFM being driven around the Corfe Castle or Ham Common areas from 3pm on January 21.

Mr Devoto said: "Samantha's death has understandably shocked local people, who have rallied around her family, friends and neighbours in both Corfe Castle and her original home town of Poole. Her close family are being supported and regularly updated by specially trained family liaison officers. They have asked for privacy at this sad time.

"I would like to thank the public for their ongoing support to officers carrying out this investigation and their patience while we conduct searches. Their continued caution on social media is also appreciated and important, as inappropriate comments could cause further hurt to her family or potentially prejudice future criminal proceedings."

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