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Saturday 30 August 2014

Sonia was 'tied up and murdered in jealous rage', gardai believe

Published 17/02/2014 | 12:33

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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

GARDAI are working on the theory that the Dublin woman who was tied up and murdered in a hotel room was killed in a "jealous rage."

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The chief suspect was well known to the murder victim, Sonia Blount, and it is believed that she was in fear of him.

Officers are today continuing to question the only suspect in the case who was arrested last night and is understood to be "co-operating" with gardai.

Sonia Blount, who was in her 30s and from the Allenton Estate in Old Bawn' Tallaght, was found tied up with cable ties and strangled.

"This is not a sex game that went wrong, this is murder," a senior source said today before adding that officers have gathered good quality CCTV.

Gardai last night arrested a man in his late twenties and was being questioned by detectives at Tallaght garda station. He had earlier presented himself at Store Street garda station.

The victim had marks on her neck, which led gardai to believe that she was strangled.

Staff at the Plaza Hotel made the shocking discovery of Sonia's body 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 is believed to have celebrated his third birthday on Saturday.

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

“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.

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

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

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

Forensic teams from the garda crime scene investigation unit spent hours at the Plaza Hotel yesterday evening and last night as the investigation into Sonia's death gathered pace.

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

According to her Facebook page Sonia 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 her death.

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

Ken Foy and Conor Feehan

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