THE death of a 64-year-old woman at her home in Belfast on the same night her car was stolen is being treated as "suspicious" by police.
The body of May Stevens was discovered shortly after 3am on Sunday at her house in Lismoyne Park, north Belfast.
Detectives from the PSNI’s Serious Crime branch have established that her car – a red Hyundai I30 – was stolen sometime between 1.30am and 2am that morning.
It was spotted a short time earlier on the North Circular Road having failed to stop for police.
The vehicle was later found abandoned at Glenbank Place at around 6.45am.
Police are now awaiting the results of a post-mortem examination to determine the cause of Ms Steven's death.
Det Ch Insp Peter Montgomery said: "At this stage we are treating Mrs Stevens' death as suspicious.
"We now know that her car was stolen between 1.30am and 2am on Sunday before it was found abandoned in Glenbank Place at around 6.45am.
"I am keen to trace the movements of the car, a red Hyundai I30, bearing registration plates NRZ 3370, in north Belfast between 1.30am and 6.45am. The vehicle has damage to its nearside.
"I would also like to speak to anyone who has information about two men who were seen walking away from the car after it was abandoned in Glenbank Place in the direction of the Crumlin Road".
He added: "This incident has left the Stevens’ family mourning the loss of a wife, mother and sister."
Police say they are investigating a possible link to two other attempted burglaries in the area in the early hours of Sunday, one of which was also in Lismoyne Park.
They are particularly keen to trace the movements of the victim’s car, registration NRZ 3370, which was found with damage to its nearside.
Ms Stevens was a retired Maths teacher who worked at the Belfast Boys' Model School and Newtownabbey Regional College.
The mother-of-two was due to become a grandmother for the first time before her tragic death.