THE brother of a pregnant woman who fought back as she was being stabbed repeatedly told of the family's pain that “she will not be sitting around the table with us this Christmas Day or any day.”
And he told of the heartbreak being felt by loved ones that they will “never meet” her baby.
Natalie McNally, who was 15-weeks pregnant, died on Sunday night at her home in Lurgan, Co Armagh.
The 32-year-old’s body was found at the Silverwood Green property around 24 hours later sparking a murder inquiry.
In an emotive appeal today the youngest of her three brothers said “Nats” had been “treated like a princess” in their family.
Urging her killer to “do the decent thing and confess,” Niall McNally said: “She lived and coped with being diabetic from a really early age and as a result we were so protective of her and treated her like a precious egg.
“And yet she was a fiercely independent young woman, working in marketing for (transport company) Translink, and was passionate about her beliefs and loved her animals and music. We were so proud of her many achievements.”
He said his mum and dad Noel and Bernadette and brothers Brendan and Declan have been left “completely devastated that she is no longer with us and really can’t believe we will never see her beautiful smile or hear her infectious laugh again.
“I cannot actually put into words the heartache we are experiencing. She was the life and soul of our family and we are heartbroken she will not be sitting around the table with us this Christmas Day or any day.”
He added: “Nats really was the best sister ever and such a lovely person. She had so many friends and would have done anything for anyone. She had a heart of gold.
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And to add to our unbearable heartache we are devastated that we will never meet Natalie’s baby – we were all looking forward to welcoming the family’s first grandchild and nephew or niece into the world next year.”
Natalie’s uncle John McStravick said she had been “a gorgeous, kind generous girl who went the extra mile for her friends and family, but also for her pets or any animals. She has come from one of the kindest, most generous, most loving, most caring families that I have ever had the privilege to meet.”
On Thursday detectives released CCTV of a suspect seen entering her street on the night she was killed.
It shows a man, thought to be wearing white trainers and carrying a rucksack entering Silverwood Green at 8.52pm on Sunday and the same man leaving at 9.30pm.
There were no signs of a break-in.
The Crimestoppers charity has offered a £20,000 reward for information about her murder.
Police previously said Ms McNally may have known her killer.
A post mortem revealed she had been stabbed a number of times.
Her injuries included defensive wounds inflicted as she tried to stop the attack.
Det Ch Insp John Caldwell said he wanted information from people who may have driven along the Kiln Road in Lurgan between 8:45pm and 9:45pm on Sunday.
He said: “My thoughts remain firmly with Natalie’s devoted parents and family, who have suffered terribly. And my appeal is to anyone with information to please come forward.
“I’m keen to highlight a reward of up to £20,000 from Crimestoppers, who are a charity and are independent of the police.
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"The reward is being offered for information given directly to Crimestoppers that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Natalie’s murder.
"Crimestoppers take information completely anonymously, meaning they will never ask for or store any of your personal details.”
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