Gardaí are studying the close relationships murdered mother of two Lisa Thompson had developed in recent months, as part of the efforts to identify her killer.
Ms Thompson was found dead at her home on Sandyhill Gardens, Ballymun, north Dublin, on Tuesday afternoon, and it is believed the 52-year-old's remains had lain in the terraced property undiscovered for a number of days.
Gardaí are now focused on establishing her movements on Saturday and Sunday and who she was with over the weekend. They suspect she may have struck up some new relationships over the last six to 12 months and that these may hold the key to her murder.
However, Supt Darren McCarthy of Ballymun Garda station said on Wednesday that investigating gardaí had no clear suspect or motive for the murder of the former youth worker, who was originally from the Ballymun area.
Garda sources said they were very hopeful Ms Thompson’s phone would offer a clear insight into where she was going and who she was meeting in the final days of her life. That information, combined with forensic evidence gathered from the scene, was expected to help gardaí narrow down a list of suspects for the killing.
A concerned neighbour raised the alarm by calling 999 seeking an ambulance just after 3pm on Tuesday. When paramedics arrived at the house they called gardaí and the murder was discovered. Her children, a boy and girl aged around 12 and 14 years, were not living at the house with their mother.
“Lisa had been the subject of a serious physical assault and suffered significant injuries,” Supt McCarthy said. “Lisa was a 52-year-old woman, she was well known in her local community, which is shocked over the violent and traumatic death of Lisa.”
He added gardaí were unaware of any threats made against her or any reason why she would fear for her safety and that gardaí had “an open mind as to the motive of this attack at this time”.
Supt McCarthy said the investigation team also wanted to examine any video footage recorded by motorists and others around the Sandyhill area of Ballymun since last Saturday. Any footage recorded in nearby streets – including Marewood Crescent and Balbutcher Lane – was also being sought for the same period.
Chief State Pathologist Linda Mulligan carried out a preliminary examination of the remains at the scene on Tuesday before they were removed to the City Morgue, Whitehall, where the full postmortem was completed on Wednesday. While the results of that examination have not been released, it is understood they confirmed Ms Thompson died of stab wounds.
Garda Headquarters said an incident room had been established at Ballymun Garda station. A family liaison officer had also been appointed to offer assistance and information to Ms Thompson’s family.
Gardaí in Ballymun are appealing to anyone with information to come forward, adding they could contact the investigation team at the local station on (01) 666-4400 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111.