A WOMAN found dead in a Ballarat house early this morning with significant injuries has been identified as a local mother.
The woman was found dead at the home in the suburb of Mount Pleasant this morning.
Emergency crews were initially called to investigate smoke at the unit but instead made the disturbing discovery.
Police quickly suspected the woman had been deliberately attacked, not injured in a fire.
They are looking for evidence including DNA left by the killer, or killers, and hunting for a murder weapon.
Homicide detectives arrive to the scene of a small house fire in Mount Pleasant. A body was found after firefighters extinguished the blaze. Police treating the fire as suspicious @7NewsMelbourne pic.twitter.com/XKDzaKataQ
— Cassie Zervos (@cassiezervos) October 5, 2018
Friends have expressed their grief as the hunt continues for the woman’s attacker or attackers.
“She didn’t deserve this to happen to her, she has children,” one local said.
Police were doorknocking the area and reassuring the public this afternoon, while SES crews were due to begin a line search of nearby streets.
The Homicide Squad is expected to remain on the scene for some time as the murder probe continues.
— 3AW Melbourne (@3AW693) October 5, 2018
Ballarat Inspector Greg Payne said police were keen to speak to witnesses who saw anything unusual in the area, such as anyone running away or a suspicious car.
“We’ve been interviewing witnesses and friends of the deceased in relation to their knowledge,” Inspector Payne said.
“There has been extensive door-to-door canvassing of the area.”
Information to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.