Samantha Henderson
25-year-old Samantha Henderson was reported missing on Thursday (22 January). Dorset Police

A body found in a lake in Dorset has been formally identified as that of missing mother-of-four Samantha Henderson.

The 25-year-old disappeared over a week ago. She was last seen leaving Corfe Castle Primary School in Dorset on 21 January.

Her body was discovered by police in a lake at Ham Common in Poole, on Friday (30 January).

According to a post-mortem report, Ms Henderson suffered serious injuries to the head and neck after being violently attacked.

Detective Inspector Neil Devoto, of Dorset Police's major crime investigation team, said: "This afternoon a post mortem was carried out on the body recovered in Hamworthy. It confirmed that the victim had suffered a violent assault that appears to have been focused on her head and neck."

Following a major missing person inquiry Ms Henderson's boyfriend, Dominic Isom, was arrested and charged with her murder.

The 27-year-old suspect, who is from the village of Corfe Castle in Wareham Isom, appeared at Winchester Crown Court on Friday (30 January) . He denied Ms Henderson's murder. He has been remanded in custody and is due to stand trial in July.

Ms Henderson's children, aged six, four, two and one, are being cared for by relatives.

Mr Devoto, who is leading the inquiry, said the murder has shocked the local community.

"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. They have asked for privacy at this sad time.

"I would like to thank the public for their ongoing support to officers carrying out this investigation and their patience while we conduct searches," he added.

"Their continued caution on social media is also appreciated and important, as inappropriate comments could cause further hurt to her family or potentially prejudice future criminal proceedings."

Police have appealed to anyone who saw Ms Henderson's blue Peugeot 307 estate car, with the registration HV04 ZFM in the Corfe Castle or Ham Common areas from 3pm on the day she was last seen.