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Police return to scene of murder in search of jacket

Jennifer Dornan (right) pictured with friends on the night of her murder. Picture by Liam McBurney/Razorpix

Detectives investigating the murder of west Belfast woman Jennifer Dornan have returned to the scene to search for a cream bomber jacket.

Police believe the jacket was abandoned somewhere between the mother-of three's home at Hazel View in Lagmore and Poleglass on the night of the murder.

A key suspect, 37-year-old Raymond O'Neill, was arrested by gardaí last Friday in Donegal, having been on the run from Mountjoy prison for a violent burglary.

He is believed to have been at a house party attended by Ms Dornan on the night of the killing.

Police have confirmed that they are not seeking anyone else and are looking at having the west Belfast man, who has almost 90 previous convictions, extradited back to Northern Ireland.

However, he may not be transferred until next year when he has served out the remainder of his sentence in Dublin and prosecutors have examined his case.

Ms Dornan was stabbed to death before her home was set on fire, in what detectives believe in an attempt to hide evidence. The house next door, in which a young family narrowly escaped injury, was also badly damaged.

The family have since moved from the property, and both homes may need to be demolished because of structural damage caused by the blaze.

A weapon thought to have been used in the attack has been recovered after a neighbour found the distinctive orange blade in their garden. It has been sent for forensic examination.

A taxi driver who picked the suspect up in the early hours of Sunday following the murder has also given witness statements to detectives.

 

Detective Superintendent Kevin Geddes, who is leading the investigation, said despite O'Neill being in custody in the Republic "enquiries are continuing".

"I am keen to locate the cream jacket as we believe it is crucial to our investigation.

"The public have been very helpful to date and we really appreciate the support.

"Now, I am appealing to anyone who may see a similar looking jacket discarded anywhere, particularly between Hazel View and Poleglass, or who has any other information, to contact us.

"Jennifer’s death is a tragedy. Three young children have been robbed of their mother and we need the public’s support to ensure we can bring her killer to justice."

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