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Thursday 21 August 2014

Man due to appear in court today in connection with the death of Sonia Blount

Published 18/02/2014 | 02:30

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Sonia Blount with brown hair
Sonia Blount

A man is due to appear in court today in connection with the death of Sonia Blount (31), who was found dead in Tallaght at the weekend.

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The 31 year-old man is from Clondalkin and was known to Ms Blount.

The young mother's body was found by cleaning staff in a hotel bedroom and she had been strangled with a scarf or towel.

Last night gardai investigating her murder had said they were making substantial progress with their enquiries.

Officers were continuing to question the suspect from south county Dublin, who was arrested on Sunday night – hours after the body was found – after he had walked voluntarily into Store Street station.

He was then taken by detectives to Tallaght station where he was held under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Ms Blount's son Jake celebrated his third birthday on Saturday and last night was under the care of relatives.

The victim, who is from Allenton estate in Old Bawn, Tallaght, had checked into the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght between 9.30pm and 10pm on Saturday.

A man was later spotted on CCTV camera footage walking into the hotel around 11.30pm and heading towards the room occupied by Ms Blount.

He was seen leaving the hotel around 6.30am on Sunday.

Last night gardai were trying to establish if the two had arranged to meet there.

Hotel staff alerted the gardai after the fully clothed body was found on the floor of the bedroom.

During a search gardai found cable ties and duct tape on the floor.

Ms Blount had marks on her neck – and after receiving preliminary results of a post-mortem examination at Tallaght hospital yesterday, officers upgraded the inquiry to a murder investigation.

FORENSIC

Gardai have recovered a number of items, including towels and clothing, to determine if any of them had been used to strangle the young mother.

A full, forensic examination of the scene was completed by garda technical officers as detectives continued to interview staff and guests who had been in the hotel on Saturday night.

The Blount family are well known in the Old Bawn area and locals were shocked as news of the tragedy spread on Sunday night and yesterday morning.

Gardai were also carrying out checks on the victim's mobile phone to help them determine her final movements and establish who had been in contact with her on Saturday. Last night officers appealed to anyone with information to contact them at the investigation headquarters in Tallaght station, tel 01 6666000, or on the confidential line, 1800 666111.

Tom Brady, Security Editor

Irish Independent

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