Investigation | 

Police granted further 36 hours to question Katrina Rainey murder suspect

The mother-of-six died after she was trapped in a burning car

Paula Mackin

Police have been granted more time to investigate the murder of Katrina Rainey who perished in a car in Derry on Tuesday afternoon.

The mother of six died after she was trapped in a burning car and detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team have been granted a further 36 hours to question the 59-year-old man they arrested on suspicion of her murder.

Katrina Rainey, aged in her 50s, died from horrific burns outside the farmhouse where she lived with her family.

The incident happened at around 5.40am on Tuesday in the Quarry Road area of Knockloughrim, a village just outside of Maghera.

Police said a car was set alight outside the home before emergency services attended the scene after receiving a frantic 999 call.

Mrs Rainey, who had been trapped in the Peugeot car, was rushed to hospital but later she died of her horrific injuries.

A murder investigation is under way and the house was closed off as forensic officers examined the scene.

The arrested man was taken to the burns unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for treatment to injuries to his head and hands. He remains under police guard and his injuries are not believed to be serious.

Mrs Rainey suffered 95% burns to her body.

Medics tried desperately to save her, but her injuries were too extensive and she succumbed to them a short time after she was admitted to hospital.

It has been revealed Katrina Rainey had witnessed a tragic accident two decades ago that claimed the life of her six-year-old daughter on the same farm.

In July 2002, Mrs Rainey's then eldest child, six-year-old daughter Heather, died when a wall collapsed at the family farm.

Young Heather Rainey's body was found shielding her little brother and sister when rescuers dug them from the rubble.

Mrs Rainey’s murder is the second tragedy to strike the family who have asked for privacy at this heartbreaking time.

PSNI Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell has said: “My investigation is at a very early stage and I would appeal to anyone who was on the Quarry Road early this morning and who witnessed anything to contact Detectives on 101 quoting reference 227 12/10/21.”.

Detectives from the Major Investigation Team investigating the murder of the victim have asked that the media respect their privacy and grief at this very sad time.

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