Knife murder | 

Gardaí probe if prescription drug addiction linked to brutal murder of Lisa Thompson

"Had she fallen out with the person who was supplying her? Or had she built up a debt? These are things being looked at"

Lisa Thompson

Patrick O'Connell

A mother-of-two violently stabbed to death in her own home had been struggling with an addiction to pills in the final months of her life - and Gardaí are probing whether this may have brought her into contact with her killer.

A source told the Sunday World that, among the lines of inquiry investigators are pursuing, are a number relating to tragic Lisa Thompson's addiction issues.

The quiet-living 52-year-old was found dead at her home on Sandyhill Gardens, Ballymun, north Dublin, on Tuesday.

However, Gardaí believe she had lain dead in the property since Sunday after being stabbed 12 times.

Gardaí have established she was active on messaging apps and Facebook as recently as Saturday.

They suspect she may have struck up some new relationships - either personal or as a result of her addiction issues - over the final six to 12 months of her life and that these may hold the key to her murder.

"The fact she had an addiction to prescription-type medications may have some relevance to the investigation," the source said.

"Had she fallen out with the person who was supplying her? Or had she built up a debt? These are things being looked at.

A Garda gathers evidence at the scene

"The circumstances of her life had changed dramatically within the past year. She was living alone and there were issues with drug misuse.

"It is a line of inquiry but there are others also.

"Had she started a relationship with someone unbeknownst to anyone other than herself?

"These are things that are now being examined."

The source described the murder investigation as a complex one.

"Normally within 24 to 48 hours of a murder of this nature, we'd have a good idea what we are dealing with.

"However, as of this moment, a solid breakthrough hasn't occurred.

"The nature of the killing was extremely violent. That could be interpreted to indicate the motive was personal or else it was done to send out a message.

"The investigation team has ruled out burglary as a motive for reasons including that there was no sign of a forced entry and no evidence of Lisa's possessions having been taken.

"She was active on messenger apps and Facebook on Saturday, so that indicates she was alive then - while the post-mortem indicates the likely time of death as having occurred on Sunday.

"All her online contacts are being looked at and the people involved spoken with."

Asked about reports two people had been seen fleeing from Lisa's property through the rear garden at some time on Sunday, the source said the reports were being examined.

"The difficulty is in confirming the time that this sighting occurred and whether it is relevant to the murder investigation."

Gardaí are hopeful Lisa's phone will offer some insight into her interactions in the final days of her life.

Flowers left for mum Lisa

The alarm was raised by a concerned neighbour who called 999 just after 3pm on Tuesday.

Her children, a boy and girl aged around 12 and 14 years, were not living at the house with their mother.

He added Gardaí were unaware of any threats made against her or any reason why she would fear for her safety and that Gardaí had "an open mind as to the motive of this attack at this time".

Speaking at a press conference earlier in the week, Superintendent Darren McCarthy said the investigation team also wanted to examine any video footage recorded by motorists and others around the Sandyhill area of Ballymun since last Saturday.

Any footage recorded in nearby streets - including Marewood Crescent and Balbutcher Lane - was also being sought for the same period.

Gardaí in Ballymun are appealing to anyone with information to contact the investigation team at (01) 666-4400 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111.

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