Locals ‘speechless’ as murder inquiry begins into woman’s death in Co Derry

Man (59) arrested after Katrina Rainey died in hospital having being pulled from burning car

A murder investigation has begun in Co Derry  after a woman died shortly after being pulled from a burning car near Maghera. Photograph: PA Wire

A murder investigation has begun in Co Derry after a woman died shortly after being pulled from a burning car near Maghera. Photograph: PA Wire

 

A community has been left “speechless” after it emerged that a murder investigation is taking place into the death of a woman who was pulled from a burning car near Maghera, Co Derry on Tuesday, a local politician has said.

Katrina Rainey, a midwife aged in her 50s, was found in the vehicle outside her home at a farm on Quarry Road, Knockloughrim at around 5.40am on Tuesday. She later died in hospital from her injuries.

A 59-year-old man, who needed treatment for burn injuries, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Rev Glen Jordan, who was a minister at Knockloughrim Presbyterian Church for five years, said he knew the family well and was shocked by what had happened.

“I am very sad. I’m very sad for the whole family. They are a lovely, beautiful, hard-working family,” he said, adding that the Raineys were regular church attendees during his time there.

“Katrina was a lovely woman. She was very supportive to me, very nice. It is very sad that she has passed away.”

Farm accident

One of the family’s children was killed in a 2002 farm accident. Heather Louise Rainey, aged six, died after a wall collapsed on her and two of her then four-year-old triplet siblings.

DUP MLA for Mid Ulster Keith Buchanan said the news that a murder investigation was taking place in the area had “ left people speechless”.

“This is a quiet rural area with a strong community network where neighbour helps neighbour,” he said. “To those who mourn the loss of a loved one and neighbour, I offer my sincere condolences and assure them of my prayers.”

Mr Buchanan urged anyone who can help the police with their inquiries to come forward.

PSNI Det Chief Insp John Caldwell said despite the best efforts of hospital staff, Ms Rainey “succumbed to her injuries and died in hospital” on Tuesday evening.

“A 59-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder. He has also been taken to hospital for treatment for burn injuries,” he said.

“My investigation is at a very early stage and I would appeal to anyone who was on the Quarry Road early this morning and who witnessed anything to contact detectives.”