Mother, 21, stabbed to death in gang attack

A YOUNG mother returning home after a night out was stabbed to death after an altercation with a gang of youths.

Nattalie Muir was discovered with severe injuries by a passer-by in Whitburn, West Lothian, early yesterday.

The 21-year-old mother of a two-year-old daughter was taken to Wishaw General Hospital but died a short time later. It is believed Muir was walking home when she was involved in an incident with youths seen hanging around in the street.

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Police have appealed for anyone who may have seen the gang in East Main Street around 2.55am to come forward.

A police source said: "We are not sure what sparked any altercation but Nattalie was subjected to a brutal and horrific attack which resulted in fatal stab wounds."

It is understood that police are investigating the possibility that Nattalie, whose daughter will be three next month, may have escaped an initial altercation, only to be attacked in a second incident a short time later in the same area. It is also believed that she was with a male friend at the time, who left the scene to get help.

Specialist police officers were yesterday comforting her heartbroken family.

Last night, Detective Superintendent Lesley Boal, leading the murder inquiry, said: "We have detained a male in connection with Nattalie's death this evening.

"Despite this detention I am still appealing to anyone who was in the area of Brucefield Drive and East Main Street and who may have seen a red car – particularly between 2.30am and 3.30am – to contact police immediately or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

One friend, who asked not to be named, said: "She was one of a kind. She lived for her wee girl and her family. This will devastate them. The whole town is shocked, especially so close to Christmas."

Last night, Whitburn's main road was closed for forensic examination.

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Meanwhile, shocked friends of Nattalie took to the social networking site Facebook to pay tribute to her life, which Muir was said to have devoted to her daughter.

Jenna Mcillwaine wrote: "I'm going to miss you so much, still got my happy memories locked away never forget you chick love your best mate always xxxx."

Natalie Reid wrote: "I can't believe you are gone."