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Whitehead murder victim named as former nurse Alyson Nelson

  • Murder investigation has been launched
  • Man arrested by police

A woman who was stabbed to death in her own home in the seaside village of Whitehead has been named by the PSNI as former nurse Alyson Nelson.

The 64-year-old was attacked at around teatime on Saturday in her own home which is close to the train station in the village.

Police have confirmed a murder investigation is now underway and have arrested a man in his 60s.

It's is understood the man arrested knows the victim.

As detectives piece together Alyson's final movements, her family have been plunged into mourning.

Detective Inspector Foreman said: “We received a report at around 6.10 pm that a woman had been stabbed at a property in the Victoria Avenue area of Whitehead.

“Officers attended, along with emergency service colleagues.

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“Sadly, she was pronounced dead at the scene. A man in his 60s has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently in police custody.

“I would again appeal to anyone with information about this incident to contact us on 101 quoting reference number 1502 of 16/04/22.”

“A report can also be made online using the non-emergency reporting form. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

"Information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous."


The scene in Whitehead Co Antrim close to the railway station.

The scene in Whitehead Co Antrim close to the railway station.

The scene in Whitehead Co Antrim close to the railway station.

The former health worker is the latest of several women to have suffered violent deaths in Northern Ireland in recent years.

Many woke up on Easter Sunday only finding out the news of a murder on their own doorstep.

One resident told Sunday Life: "I've lived in Whitehead since 1972 and this is the first incident of this kind I've heard of. It's just awful, particularly at Easter time. God love her family.''

As well as police attending the scene on Saturday night, paramedics and the air ambulance were called too.

But there was nothing that could be done to save the victim - a popular member of the community in Whitehead.


The murder scene last night

The murder scene last night

The murder scene last night

Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie described the death as “such awful news for Easter Sunday”.

Alliance East Antrim Assembly candidate Stewart Dickson told Sunday Life: “This is a holiday weekend, a lot of people have been out and about, socialising, enjoying the good weather of today. For many this is the first time they’ve been out and about since the pandemic.

“And now to hear about these tragic circumstances here in Whitehead, it is just heartbreaking.

“My heart goes out to the family and friends of the individual and I would encourage anyone who has any information about the circumstances to pass that to the PSNI.”

As the news broke people were shocked and horrified. All our thoughts are with the family of the poor victim. Whitehead is not on the map for this sort of thing, it’s normally a quiet, rural, seaside village. This is just dreadful,” DUP East Antrim Assembly candidate David Hilditch said.

SDLP East Antrim Assembly candidate Siobhán McAlister has also expressed her condolences to the family and friends of Alyson Nelson following her tragic death. “To lose a loved one under any circumstances is extremely difficult and I cannot begin to imagine what they are going through,” she said.

“This incident has shocked people in Whitehead, it’s a small seaside village and people just can’t believe that this has happened in their community. Having seen tributes it appears Mrs Nelson was well known and well liked in the area and I hope her family can take strength from this.

“I would urge anyone with any information about what happened here to come forward to police as soon as possible. It’s imperative they are given the proper time and space to carry out their investigation and I hope to see justice delivered for Mrs Nelson and her family following her untimely death.”

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