Police are treating the death of a young Ashburton mother who was found in a pool of blood at her home as a homicide.
The decision to upgrade the inquiry into the death of Sina Solomona, 22, was made based on evidence gathered so far, Detective Senior Sergeant John Rae said today.
A weapon had been located at the Cass St scene but police would not give further details or say whether it was used on Ms Solomona.
A post-mortem examination was still in progress late this afternoon.
Enquiries had continued through the day, including a forensic examination of the house and a ground search for items of interest that may be related to the death.
Ms Solomona had tried to speak to her stepbrother when he discovered her in a pool of blood on the ground near the back door of her Ashburton home early on Saturday, Mr Rae said earlier today.
"She appeared to be trying to speak to him. He needed to get help urgently,'' Mr Rae told Radio New Zealand this morning.
With no phone at the house where Ms Solomona was found, the stepbrother ran to get help.
Other family members came back to the house and tried to revive Ms Solomona as ambulance staff gave advice on CPR over the phone.
Police and other emergency services eventually arrived at the scene, where Ms Solomona was pronounced dead.
Mr Rae said investigating what happened to the young mother "seems to be quite a puzzle''.
"She worked at the freezing works, she liked a drink or two, but there's no indication as to why this actually would have happened,'' Mr Rae told Radio News Zealand this morning.
Ms Solomona worked at Canterbury Meat Packers and had finished an afternoon shift about 1am on Saturday.
She went to a friend's place before ringing her twin sister's partner who agreed to pick her up and drive her to her Cass St home, where she lived with extended family.
Mr Rae said there did not appear to be anyone home, and Ms Solomona's brother-in-law offered to go inside with her.
Ms Solomona said she was fine to go inside alone, and her brother-in-law drove off.
There is a small window between when Ms Solomona arrived home about 2.30am and when her stepbrother found her about 2.45am.
Police said she suffered severe head trauma.
Ms Solomona 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.