Ashling Murphy, 23, from Tullamore, central Ireland, was found beaten to death at around 4 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET) on the Grand Canal Way at Cappincur in Tullamore, police said.
“At this stage there is no information that the victim and her killer were known to each other. From inquiries we have carried out to date we believe this crime was committed by one male who acted alone,” Superintendent Eamonn Curley, of Tullamore Garda Station, said in a statement.
“At scene Gardaí discovered a young woman with serious injuries. Medical attention was provided but despite the efforts of the medical team who attended, this young lady passed away,” Curley’s statement read. “The injuries we believe at this time are consistent with an assault.”
Personnel from the family liaison unit are providing support to the family, said the statement.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Ashling’s family at this time and indeed the wider community, her teaching colleagues and the children she taught who are without their teacher today,” added Curley.
A man in his 40s has been arrested in connection with the incident and is currently being detained, Ireland’s national police force, known as the Gardaí, said in a statement to CNN Thursday.
Police are appealing to the public for information and are urging anyone who was in the canal area on Wednesday afternoon to come forward.
Ireland’s Justice Minister Helen McEntee also urged anyone with information to contact police.
“My thoughts tonight are with the family of the young woman killed in a truly shocking crime, with her friends and with her community”, she tweeted on Wednesday.
Murphy graduated from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick just three months ago, according to college president Eugene Wall.
“The entire MIC community is heartbroken and shocked to the core to hear of the tragic and senseless killing,” he tweeted Thursday.
He said “our heartfelt sympathy” goes out to her family, friends, colleagues and pupils.