Brutal killing | 

Murdered Natalie McNally died days before scan to tell her she was carrying baby boy

Noel and Bernie McNally spoke out just days after laying to rest their only daughter

Lisa SmythBelfast Telegraph

Murdered mum-to-be Natalie McNally was stabbed to death just two days before a scan would have told her she was carrying a baby boy, her heartbroken parents have revealed.

Noel and Bernie McNally spoke out just days after laying to rest their only daughter as they appealed to the “monster” who took her life to hand himself in to police.

In a harrowing interview, they said they were unable to have an open coffin for Natalie, who was 15 weeks pregnant when she was murdered.

“I always thought the worst thing could happen is one of my children dying before me, but for one of them to be murdered, so brutally, and a grandson,’’ said Noel.

“We can’t imagine why someone would do this to anyone, let alone our daughter. How could someone be so evil?”

The couple, who described their daughter as “fiercely independent”, said she was thrilled at the prospect of becoming a mum and had already told them she was expecting.

She was planning to reveal the happy news to her wider family on Christmas Day.

“Natalie was delighted and we were so over the moon,” said Noel.

“Everything had just fallen into place, she couldn’t have been happier.”

A scan was scheduled for Tuesday, December 20, when Natalie hoped to find out the sex of her baby.

She had already selected two names, Zara for a girl and Dean for a boy.

A post-mortem examination would later reveal Natalie was carrying a son — his name revealed at her funeral.

Her dad also spoke of his regret at the last time he saw Natalie.

Detectives believe she was fatally stabbed at her home in Silverwood Green in Lurgan on the night of December 18 – shortly after visiting her parents.

Noel said: “It breaks my heart now — I probably didn’t say cheerio to her.”

The couple found out about Natalie’s murder when police turned up at their door in the early hours of December 20.

At first, they thought Natalie, who was diabetic, had died as a result of a hypoglycaemic attack.

Noel and Natalie’s brother, Declan, identified her body and at first her shell-shocked father barely recognised his own daughter.

“We couldn’t have the coffin open because it was too horrendous the way she was left,’’ said Noel.

“I had to look at her a few times to see it was her, it was terrible.”

Bernie continued: “Because they had to do the post-mortem they came and told us they had to shave her lovely hair off.

“My God she was so beautiful. I didn’t want my boys to have that picture of their sister.”

And talking about the man who murder Natalie, Bernie said: “He has to hand himself in, face up to what he has done. I want to know why, why has he done this to my Natalie, why?

“After that I don’t care. I think about my Natalie, a beautiful girl. Why waste your life thinking about some evil person? I don’t think you could even call him a person.”

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