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Friday 29 August 2014

Man held after young mum's body found in hotel room

Ken Foy and Conor Feehan

Published 17/02/2014 | 02:30

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Sonia Blount with brown hair
Sonia Blount
Garda vans outside the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght, inset, Sonia Blount
Ambulance leaves the Scene at the plaza hotel Tallaght

A man has been arrested after the body of a young mother-of-one was found in a hotel bedroom.

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The body of Sonia Blount, pictured, was found tied up in a Tallaght hotel. Cable ties were found at the scene and gardai are expected to launch a murder inquiry after a post-mortem examination today.

The victim – who is from the nearby Allenton Estate in Old Bawn, Tallaght – had marks on her neck, which led gardai to believe that she was strangled.

Staff at the Plaza Hotel made the shocking discovery as they were cleaning rooms yesterday afternoon.

They immediately alerted gardai and the emergency services when they discovered her dead in a room at 3.30pm.

Sonia's son, Jake, is believed to have celebrated his third birthday on Saturday.

There were heartbreaking scenes at the hotel yesterday when Ms Blount's mother Patricia arrived as gardai were towing away her 05 registered Opel Astra car from the car park.

"That's my daughter's car. Why are you taking it away?" she cried. "What's going on here? What happened?"

The grandmother then went into the hotel with other family members where she was met by gardai and hotel staff.

Gardai said they were keeping an open mind in the case but Ms Blount's car, as well as CCTV, will prove crucial in the investigation into her death.

Gardai are very anxious to find out who Ms Blount spent her final hours with, and will be using camera footage from the hotel as well as her phone to help build a clearer picture of her last movements.

It is believed she had booked into the hotel herself, parking her car just yards from the front door.

Forensic teams from the garda crime scene investigation unit spent hours at the Plaza Hotel yesterday as the investigation into Ms Blount's death gathered pace.

Camera equipment as well as evidence bags and forensic equipment were taken into the hotel as part of the investigation.

Her body has been removed to the morgue at Tallaght Hospital. According to her Facebook page, Ms Blount worked for the Henkel adhesives company but studied childcare at Liberties College.

The Blount family are well known and respected in Old Bawn, and were all said to be shocked by the news of her death.

A representative for the Plaza Hotel said that it would issue a statement "in due course".

Last night, a man presented himself to Store Street garda station for questioning.

He was later arrested and is being detained at Tallaght garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Irish Independent

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