Mum slain minutes after drop off

By Susan Sandys

Sina Solomona. Photo / Supplied
Sina Solomona. Photo / Supplied

A young mother found dead in a pool of blood by her stepbrother near the back door to her home had been dropped off only minutes earlier.

Police investigating the death of 22-year-old Sina Nerisa Solomona in Ashburton early on Saturday say they are keeping an open mind but believe is likely to be a homicide.

Ms Solomona, a mother of a small daughter, was found inside her Cass St house house after 2.30am.

She had suffered severe head trauma.

Only minutes earlier the meat packer had been dropped home by her sister's partner after a shift at CMP Canterbury.

Sina lived at the house with her mother Anuella, her mother's partner, her 3-year-old daughter Kaira, her twin sister Loretta, her sister's partner and her two brothers.

None of the family were believed to have been home because they were at another family property in the town.

Anuella Solomona said her daughter was a loving and beautiful person and the family was in deep shock.

"They just don't believe someone could do something like this, if there was any people hate us, any people had trouble, problem with us ... I don't think so," she said.

The family had lived in Ashburton since 2002, with many members working at CMP Canterbury.

Kaira believed her mother was at work and Anuella explained that the only time Sina was not with her daughter was when she was at work.

"She loved her daughter, she loves her friends, she loves anyone. Until now I'm still questioning who would do this," Anuella said.

Her stepson had discovered Sina fatally injured at the house.

He could not initially open the back door and thought Sina was playing around and not letting him in, but then he saw she was injured and ran in a panic down the street to get help.

He bumped into a man on a bike who cycled to a service station to raise the alarm.

Police said an emergency call was made at 2.43am. Sina was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.

It was believed Sina was dropped home sometime between 2.20am and 2.30am and had left work at CMP after finishing her shift at 1am.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Rae said police were preparing a time line and looking at CCTV footage from locations in Ashburton.

An unsuccessful search for a weapon on surrounding streets is believed to have been undertaken, and Mr Rae confirmed some items, one of particular interest, was missing from the house and could have been discarded by someone leaving the scene.

Sina did not have a partner, and there was no suggestion she had been drinking after being at work for the evening. She was with friends when she needed a ride home, and got a family member to pick her up.

Police were examining the scene in conjunction with ESR staff and making enquiries to establish her movements in the hours leading up to when her body was found.

"Enquiries have are also being made with her associates and others who may have had relevant information to pass to the investigation. The enquiries are ongoing," Mr Rae said.

He said family members were being helpful.

"They are deeply shocked, they are trying to resolve she's no longer with them."

Sina's body was moved from the house around midday yesterday, and the property was likely to remain cordoned off today as scene examinations continue.

A post-mortem examination would be carried out in Christchurch today.

One neighbour said her husband heard "a bit of a noise" which sounded like yelling or "young ones going home from the pub" around 2.30am.

"Her husband had not thought much of it and had gone back to sleep."

Nikayla Thompson, who lives in a house at the rear of the victim's home said she heard a scream sometime between 1am and 3am.

Her flatmate Marc Ellery was asleep at the time, but he said he had heard the noise of drunk people on the street through the night.

Another neighbour knew the victim and described her as a "real bubbly and happy go lucky chick".

"She was a lovely girl, she was so full of life."

A tribute page on Facebook called Rest In Paradise Sina Solomona has been set up.

- Ashburton Guardian

- NZ Herald

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