Police investigating the death of Ashburton woman, Sina Solomona, say she died a violent death from a killer who had a motive.
Ms Solomona's body was found in the house she shared with her three year old daughter, and seven other adults, in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Detective senior sergeant John Rae says Ms Solomona, 22, suffered multiple blunt force trauma, as well as stab wounds, including one to her throat.
Police say they are not ruling out a sexual motive and Mr Rae says the movements of both Ms Solomona's former and current partner have been accounted for.
He says an extensive investigation is underway and police have spoken to almost 30 witnesses.
He says what could be a bloody handprint has been found on a clothing bin near Ms Solomona's house.
The cause of death will not be known until the pathologist's report is released.
Police say it is highly unlikely it was a random attack. All the evidence indicates she was killed by someone known to her.
Mr Rae said police want to hear from anyone who saw anything unusual around Cass Street early on Saturday morning, or with any information about the attack.
He said police do not believe there is any heightened risk to the community.
A post mortem examination was concluded on Tuesday morning, but police are yet to receive the pathologists' report.