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Murder investigation after mother-of-one found stabbed to death in Muswell Hill house

PUBLISHED: 23:32 19 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:08 20 November 2017

Police activity outside the  house on Hill Road. Picture: Aine Fox/PA Wire

Police activity outside the house on Hill Road. Picture: Aine Fox/PA Wire

Shocked neighbours paid tribute to a woman in her 50s found stabbed to death at her home in Muswell Hill.

Floral tributes at the scene of the murder in Hill Road, Muswell Hill.  Photo: Aine Fox/PA WireFloral tributes at the scene of the murder in Hill Road, Muswell Hill. Photo: Aine Fox/PA Wire

The mother-of-one, named locally as Cathy Burke, was discovered at a house in Hill Road.

Neighbours said they are fearful after reading reports that Ms Burke was found tied up, which police have refused to confirm.

A post-mortem examination over the weekend revealed her provisional cause of death to be stab injuries, Scotland Yard said.

Tom Hegarty, 63 who lived three doors away from Ms Burke said she was a quiet woman. “I’ve lived here for 30 years, but she kept herself to herself.”

“We’ve heard that it was a burglary gone wrong. It is a shock. It’s obviously worrying. I would be a lot more relieved if they caught someone.”

Bridie McDonnell, 73 who had known Ms Burke for nearly 20 years laid flowers outside her house on Monday morning. She paid tribute to her friend. “She was a lovely, quiet girl. My daughter came in on Saturday night and asked if I’d seen the news. My reaction was ‘not Cathy’.

“I feel broken because she would never hurt anybody.”

Lesly Gregory, who knew the victim for around 10 years, said: “She was just lovely. She was such a nice lady.”

She said she did not believe it was a random attack, adding: “Cathy wouldn’t open the door to just anyone.”

Ms Gregory, who has lived on the street for three decades, added tearfully: “We need to find Cathy’s killer.”

Ms Burke lived alone after her son moved out to go to university, and had previously worked for the local council, she said.

Another neighbour, Fenelle Archer Wright, described Ms Burke as “a very warm person, very friendly.”

She added: “It’s scary that this has happened in our road.”

Floral tributes have been set in a hedge at the front of the terraced house, while a small police cordon remains in place at the entrance.

Ms Burke moved to England from Galway as a teenager, neighbours said, and had lived in the street for around 20 years.

Police visited the house on Thursday evening after concerns were raised for her well-being.

Detectives, who are awaiting formal identification of the victim, said they are keeping an open mind about the motive.

No-one has been arrested.

Anyone with information is asked to call the incident room on 020 8785 8244, or contact the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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