A missing woman found dead at a flat in Belfast may have been repeatedly stabbed and beaten, it emerged today.
Geraldine Kane, 47, had not been seen since she left a house party in the west of the city.
As detectives launched an inquiry into the married mother-of-four’s death, details were released on a man they want to question.
Thomas Graham, 42, from west Belfast, is thought to have travelled towards Newry, Co Down in a blue Proton car.
Police believe he may be in a distressed state. They expressed concern for his well-being.
Mrs Kane left a house in the Clonard area on Monday to return home to Dermott Hill.
Her body was found early today at an address in nearby Cavendish Square where rooms have been let out by a private landlord.
As details of possible injuries spread through the tight-knit community, the victim’s relatives were said to be distraught.
“I was told by one of them that she was stabbed five times and beaten,” a family friend said.
Police refused to comment on how she died, apart from confirming the death was being treated as suspicious.
Others who knew Mrs Kane described her as friendly and outgoing.
“She was an active part of the community,” said one.
“You would always see her about the estate, getting involved in street festivals and other events.”
Sinn Féin Assembly Member Fra McCann said people in the Lower Falls area were deeply shocked.
The West Belfast MLA said: “Obviously the details of exactly what happened are not clear, but I would wish to extend my sympathy and the sympathy of the people of this area to the dead woman’s family and friends at what is undoubtedly a deeply shocking and difficult time.”
Margaret Walsh, an SDLP councillor in the area, urged anyone with information to help the police inquiry.
She added: “This news is so tragic and so sad.”