Samantha Henderson suffered neck and head injuries, tests reveal
A mother of four whose body was found in a lake in Dorset had been violently attacked around the head and neck, post-mortem tests have revealed.
Samantha Henderson was last seen leaving Corfe Castle Primary School in Dorset on 21 January.
The body was formally identified as Ms Henderson on Sunday, Dorset Police said.
Her boyfriend Dominic Isom, 27, of Corfe Castle, pleaded not guilty to her murder in court on Friday.
The body was found in a lake at Ham Common in Poole on the same day.
Det Insp Neil Devoto, of Dorset Police, said a post-mortem examination had been carried out on Saturday afternoon.
"It confirmed that the victim had suffered a violent assault that appears to have been focused on her head and neck," he said.
"Although we have recovered a body and a man is charged with murder, it is still vital that people come forward with any information that could help us build a picture of exactly what happened."
Ms Henderson, who has children aged six, four, two and one, was reported missing on the morning of 22 January.
Police said they wanted to hear from anyone who saw her blue Peugeot 307 estate car with the registration number HV04 ZFM being driven around the Corfe Castle or Ham Common areas from 15:00 GMT on 21 January.
Mr Devoto said: "Samantha's death has understandably shocked local people, who have rallied around her family, friends and neighbours in both Corfe Castle and her original home town of Poole.
"Her close family are being supported and regularly updated by specially trained family liaison officers."
Well-wishers have been leaving floral tributes and candles by a cross in Corfe Castle.
The people behind the Help Find Samantha Henderson Facebook page are looking to set up a fund-raising page for her four children.
Mr Isom was remanded in custody to stand trial on 13 July when he appeared at Winchester Crown Court on Friday.