The chair of a residents' association has said the community is in shock following the death of a young mother who was stabbed in her flat.

Police launched a murder investigation after the 26-year-old, named locally as Leighann Duffy, died in hospital yesterday afternoon following the attack at her flat in Hatherley Road, Walthamstow, on Monday. 

She suffered stab wounds to her throat and arm and was treated by neighbours for up to twenty minutes before emergency services arrived at around 3pm.

Her six-year old-daughter was treated for minor injuries and kept inside the flat by a neighbour's teenage son as he and his 20-year-old daughter tried to control the bleeding while on the phone to paramedics.

Detectives believe her attacker was known to her but say the motive remains unclear.

Chair of the Hatherley House Residents Association, Nelia Cetin, 47, said there is widespread disbelief over the death.

She said: "We're all really shocked even though we were not that close, we would still say hello to each other. 

"Her daughter is such a bubbly young girl and it is heartbreaking knowing she will now grow up without her mother. 

"We desperately want to know why she was stabbed. The police need to find the killer." 

Hibo Wardere, of Hatherley House, said she is "in pieces" and praised the ambulance service for "doing everything humanely possible to keep her alive."

Next of kin are aware, but the murdered woman has not been formally identified. 

Detective Chief Inspector Glen Lloyd said: "We are now investigating the murder of a young woman.

"While we continue to investigate the motive to this incident we believe that the suspect and the victim were known to each other.

"People living and working nearby may have seen something that could be of vital importance to investigators. I would urge anyone with information to contact officers."

Anyone with information can contact the incident room on 020 8345 3985. To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.