Victim and man arrested on suspicion of her murder were on holiday in area, says PSNI
Police were last night still trying to trace relatives of a 37-year-old woman, the victim of a fatal stabbing at a north coast holiday camping site.
A 53-year-old man, believed to be the partner of the victim, was still being questioned last night after being arrested by police on suspicion of murder.
Police said the woman and the man had been on holiday in the popular tourist area on the banks of the River Roe a few miles outside Limavady.
The number of tourists arriving to the area, including local beaches, had increased since lockdown restrictions ended, and last weekend’s Stendhal Arts and Music Festival, held just outside Limavady, brought 2,500 extra visitors to the town. However, it is believed the couple had not attended the festival.
Police forensic experts remained on the scene at Swanns Bridge glamping site at Sea Coast Road throughout Tuesday, an area popular with tourists, hikers and watersports enthusiasts.
Police said they were called to the scene on Monday evening following a report that a woman had been stabbed, but paramedics were unable to save her.
“We received a report, just after 8.20pm (on Monday), that a woman had been stabbed at an outdoor accommodation site on Sea Coast Road,” said PSNI Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell.
“Officers attended, along with colleagues from Northern Ireland Ambulance Service but, sadly, the woman was pronounced dead at the scene. She was 37 years old.
“A man, aged 53, was subsequently arrested on suspicion of her murder, and he remains in custody.
“While our inquiries are at an early stage, I can confirm that both the victim and the man who was arrested were holidaymakers.
“We are not looking for anyone else in relation to this tragic death.”
Police had earlier said that a man in his 50s was injured in the incident.
DUP MP Gregory Campbell said the news of the murder was “a sad and unfortunate tragedy”.
“This is a very scenic area. It’s beside the Roe Valley, it’s the route from the north west through Downhill, Castlerock and beyond, the Causeway Coast area.
“It’s an exceptionally popular daycationing and staycationing area,” he said.
“People frequent it and use it all the time.
“This is such a sad and unfortunate tragedy. Hopefully the police can reveal the full conclusion of their investigations and people will be allowed to mourn the loss of their family member.”
East Londonderry MLA Cara Hunter said the whole community had been left in shock following the murder.
“There’s an incredible sense of shock and sadness in Limavady today following the terrible murder of a woman at a camping site in Myroe,” she said.
“This is a quiet community and people are just stunned that such a brutal attack on a woman could happen here.
“I understand that the victim and the individual arrested were both visitors to the area. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of this woman who will be experiencing unthinkable loss today.
“It is a deeply unfortunate and heart-breaking event.
“I have spoken with local residents who have voiced their sympathies with the family, and it is really devastating because this is such a beautiful, welcoming area.
“We welcome thousands of visitors every year, and something like this happening is unheard of. My thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends today.
“This is a close-knit community, a farming community, and a lot of visitors come here. This is unheard of and shocking.”
It’s the second murder of a woman in the Limavady area in the last few months, following the fatal stabbing of Ludmila Poletelova, aged 61 and originally from Latvia, in April. Sinn Fein MLA Caoimhe Archibald said the news of the murder was completely out of character with the local area.
“It’s absolutely devastating,” she said
“Everybody I have spoken to is deeply shocked and deeply saddened.
“It’s a tragedy that a young woman of only 37 has lost her life in such tragic circumstances and obviously I’d like to send my deepest condolences to her family and friends.
“I have spoken to police today but as it remains a live investigation I won’t comment on the circumstances.
“I would call for anyone who has any information that may be able to assist police with their inquiries around the circumstances to bring that forward.
“It’s an absolute tragedy that a young woman has been killed in such awful circumstances.
“We’ve had two separate incidents this year and I understand that in this case it involved people who were visiting the area.
“It’s unfortunate that we’ve seen these two tragic incidents. It’s certainly very out of character for the area.”
DUP councillor Aaron Callan added: “It’s very sad and shocking news. My thoughts and prayers go to the woman’s family and friends tonight. If anyone has information relating to this murder please contact the PSNI on 101.”