Brutal murder | 

Natalie McNally: Timeline of mum-to-be’s violent death which has left town living in fear

Natalie was 15 weeks pregnant at the time of her death

Jessica RiceBelfast Telegraph

Sunday, December 18: Security cameras capture footage of a man carrying a rucksack arriving at Silverwood Green in Lurgan, where Natalie McNally’s body would later be found.

Monday, December 19: Police and paramedics attend a house in the Silverwood Green area of Lurgan, Co Armagh, where a woman is pronounced dead.

Police launch an investigation into what they describe as a suspicious death.

PSNI arrest a man in his 30s on suspicion of murder.

Tuesday, December 20: The murder victim is named as 32-year-old Natalie McNally.

The man in his 30s is released pending further inquiries. He man is no longer regarded as a suspect.

Wednesday, December 21:Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell announces that a murder investigation has been launched. He says Natalie died a violent death, having been stabbed a number of times and sustained defensive injuries.

Police also say Natalie was 15 weeks pregnant at the time of her death.

Thursday, December 22: Another 32-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of Natalie’s murder and is taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite for questioning. He is later released on police bail.

Police release CCTV footage of the man carrying a rucksack in a bid to jog memories.

Police state they believe Natalie may have known her killer and that there were no signs of forced entry into her home.

Natalie’s brother Niall makes an appeal at Lurgan police station, urging those responsible for killing his sister “to do the decent thing and confess to her murder”. The charity Crimestoppers offers a £20,000 reward for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murder.

Friday, December 23: Natalie’s family confirm she was pregnant with a baby boy at the time of her death.

Family and friends of Ms McNally hold a vigil in her memory in the street near her home.

Sunday, December 25: Natalie’s brother Brendan makes a Christmas Day appeal to end violence against women and girls.

He says he will “not now ever recover” from her death.

Mr McNally tweets: “My lovely sister Natalie, who I watched grow up since we were children. So smart, strong, independent and capable; cats, dogs; just understanding the things that no one else did.”

Monday, December 26: Natalie’s family lay her to rest carrying her baby son, named Dean. Hundreds of people gather in the street outside Ms McNally’s family home for a short celebration of her life.

Friday, December 30: Police make a renewed appeal for information about the murder.

Sunday, January 1:Natalie’s parents make a plea for the “monster” responsible to do the right thing and hand himself in.

“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,’’ says Natalie’s dad Noel.

Tuesday, January 3: Natalie’s brother Declan issues a call for information about her murder, saying that finding her killer was “all we have left”.

On social media, Jayne Doran, a childhood friend of Natalie’s, shares an open letter to Natalie’s killer. She addresses the killer directly, saying: “I only write this to you because I want you to know you will be found and you will answer for what you’ve done.”

Wednesday, January 4: Gemma Doran, a cousin of Ms McNally says people in the local area and “right across the island” are frightened following her violent death.

Thursday, January 5:Police announce they believe they have recovered the weapon used to murder Natalie.

PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Neil McGuinness says his main line of inquiry was that the 32-year-old was killed by someone she knew and was comfortable allowing into her home. He says he believed the weapon was from Ms McNally’s home and was not brought to the property by her killer.

Mr McGuinness also says he did not think there was currently a risk to other women in the area. A vigil is held in Stormont for Natalie, which her three brothers attend.

Friday, January 6: Natalie’s family express concern the killer involved may have fled Northern Ireland.

The police carry out a search of Silverwood Golf Course in Lurgan. The PSNI say detectives also went to a business property in the Armagh and Craigavon area as part of their investigation.

Saturday, January 7:Detectives seize a car from an address in the Lisburn and Castlereagh area in connection to Natalie’s murder.

Officers also carry out house-to-house inquiries in the Lisburn area.

Sunday, January 8: Detectives say they suspect Natalie may have been killed on the spur of the moment.

Sources close to the case say that there was no attempt to forensically clean the murder scene.

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