Elizabeth Mackay murdered in 'brutal attack' in Inverness
A woman found murdered in her home in Inverness had suffered a "sustained and brutal assault", police have said.
The body of 60-year-old Elizabeth Mackay, or Muir, was discovered at a house in the city's Hilton area on Thursday by two of her friends.
Ms Mackay, who was originally from Nairn and had been living in Inverness for eight years, had a number of injuries.
Police said she had been described as "a loner" and a "private person".
Det Ch Insp Keith Hardie, who has arrived in Inverness with a team of detectives from Edinburgh, said murder was a "rare crime" in the Highland capital.
He told BBC Scotland: "It is quite apparent from a number of injuries that this has been a fairly sustained and brutal attack in the safety of her home."
Ms Mackay was last seen on Tuesday afternoon and her body was discovered at about 16:45 on Thursday.
Det Ch Insp Hardie appealed for other sightings of her and also for help from the public in "building a picture" of her life.
He said: "We know she was a bit of a loner, kept herself to herself. As far as we are aware she never had any enemies in the community or elsewhere.
"She has been described by family and friends as a gentle person who wouldn't hurt a fly, making this horrible crime even harder to comprehend."
Police have appealed to the community in Hilton for help with their investigation into her death.
Det Ch Insp Hardie said the local community would have been "shaken" by the murder.
But he added that it was "best placed" to have noticed anything suspicious or out of the ordinary at the time.
The senior detective said: "Neighbours and the wider community of Hilton will be understandably shaken and upset by this tragic event and officers will continue to carry out patrols.
"Local communities are best placed to pick up on things that are out of place or events out of the ordinary, so we would appeal to anyone who heard or saw anything unusual or suspicious, even if its appears insignificant."
The house in Kintail Court is the same terraced bungalow where the body of hairdresser Ilene O'Connor, 39, was found in 2006.
Brian Grant, 50, was jailed in 2007 for beating Ms O'Connor to death and burying her body in the garden.