Samantha Henderson suffered a “violent assault” before she died, police have said after finding serious neck and head injuries.
The 25-year-old’s body was pulled from a lake near Ham Common in Hamworthy, Poole, on Friday – eight days after she went missing. It was formally identified yesterday by family members.
Forensic searches at her home in Corfe Castle, where she lived with her four children aged six, four, two and one, continued yesterday.
She was reported missing on the morning of 22 January and her boyfriend, Dominic Isom, 27, has been charged with murder.
Senior investigating officer Neil Devoto, from Dorset Police, said a post-mortem on Saturday confirmed that “the victim had suffered a violent assault that appears to have been focused on her head and neck”.
“Although we have recovered a body and a man is charged with murder, it is still vital that people come forward with any information that could help us build a picture of exactly what happened,” he added.
The last reported sighting of Ms Henderson was at around 3pm on 21 January outside Corfe Castle Primary School and CCTV images of her in a nearby sweet shop earlier in the day were released as part of the appeal.
Police are continuing to ask for anyone who had seen her blue Peugeot 307 being driven in Hamworthy between the time she was last seen and 5pm on 23 January to come forward.
Detective Inspector Devoto said: “Samantha’s death has understandably shocked local people, who have rallied around her family, friends and neighbours in both Corfe Castle and her original hometown of Poole.
“Her close family are being supported and regularly updated by specially trained Family Liaison Officers. They have asked for privacy at this sad time.
“I would like to thank the public for their ongoing support to officers carrying out this investigation and their patience while we conduct searches.”
He thanked members of the public for “continued caution” on social media to avoid “further hurt to her family or potentially prejudice future criminal proceedings”.
Isom, also of Corfe Castle, pleaded not guilty to murder at Winchester Crown Court on Friday and has been remanded in custody to stand trial on 13 July.Reuse content