A beloved churchgoer and grandmother has been found dead in Croydon, London, after an overnight attack.
Nelly Akomah, who was a church leader at the Nigeria's Methodist Mission UK and Ireland, was found fatally wounded at the bottom of the stairs at 10.40am on Wednesday, according to neighbours.
Although formal identification by the police has not yet been carried out, she has been named by neighbours and fellow church congregants as they paid tribute.
Dame Susan Solanke, Lay president of the church, described the 76-year-old's death as a "big blow" to the congregation.
She said: "It is heartbreaking to as all in NMM to lose such a committed member and soldier of Christ. My heartfelt sympathy goes to her children, family, extended family back home, sister Rose Akobundu- Sampson and other siblings in the UK.
"Sister Nelly, only last week we were all at a weekend retreat, full of life. You were such a valuable member of the mission who will be sorely missed. My heart is broken with this cruel, mindless and senseless attack. I pray God brings the culprits to book as soon as possible."
Ayodeji Okegbile, a fellow member of Nigeria Methodist Mission UK, also paid tribute to Mrs Akomah and asked people to pray for the police as the investigation into her murder gets underway.
He said: "Nigeria Methodist Mission UK and Ireland are very sorry to announce the loss of our long-standing leader and beloved mother, Mrs Nelly Akomah who passed away yesterday after an overnight attack in her residence in London.
"She will always be dearly missed and our thoughts and prayers are with her loving children, grandchildren, family, Tooting Methodist Church, Nigerian Fellowship, and close friends."
Specialist Crime Command detectives are leading the investigation, and they would like to speak to anyone who saw anything suspicious in the vicinity of Ladbrook Road.
"We are in the early stages of our investigation but I am urging anyone with information to contact us as soon as possible," Met Detective Chief Inspector Kate Blackburn said in a police statement.
"An elderly woman has lost her life and it is vitally important that we establish what happened.
"Did you hear anything, or see someone in the area who looked out of place? Please call us."