Whitehead murder victim named locally as former nurse Alyson Nelson

A pensioner who was stabbed to death in her own home in the seaside village of Whitehead has been named locally as former nurse Alyson Nelson.

The 63-year-old was attacked at around teatime on Saturday in her own home which is close to the train station in the village.

Police have confirmed a murder investigation is now underway and have arrested a man.

It’s is understood the man arrested knows the victim.

As detectives piece together Alyson’s final movements, her family have been plunged into mourning.

PSNI Detective Inspector Foreman said: “We received a report at around 6.10 pm that a woman had been stabbed at a property in the Victoria Avenue area of Whitehead.

“Officers attended, along with colleagues from Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

“Sadly, a woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

“A man has been arrested and is currently in police custody. At this stage we are not looking for any other suspects.

“Our enquiries are at any early stage. However, I would appeal to anyone with information to contact us on 101 quoting reference number 1502 of 16/04/22.

“Information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous.”

The former health worker is the latest of several women to have suffered violent deaths in Northern Ireland in recent years.

Many woke up on Easter Sunday only finding out the news of a murder on their own doorstep.

One resident told Sunday Life: “I’ve lived in Whitehead since 1972 and this is the first incident of this kind I’ve heard of. It’s just awful, particularly at Easter time. God love her family.”

As well as police attending the scene on Saturday night, paramedics and the air ambulance were called too.

But there was nothing that could be done to save the pensioner – a popular member of the community in Whitehead.

Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie described the death as “such awful news for Easter Sunday”.

Alliance’s Stewart Dickson told Sunday Life: “This is a holiday weekend, a lot of people have been out and about, socialising, enjoying the good weather of today. For many this is the first time they’ve been out and about since the pandemic.

“And now to hear about these tragic circumstances here in Whitehead, it is just heartbreaking.

“My heart goes out to the family and friends of the individual and I would encourage anyone who has any information about the circumstances to pass that to the PSNI.”

The DUP’s David Hilditch said: “As the news broke people were shocked and horrified. All our thoughts are with the family of the poor victim. Whitehead is not on the map for this sort of thing, it’s normally a quiet, rural, seaside village. This is just dreadful.”

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