Horrifying theory after teacher, 23, was brutally murdered

·4-min read

A new theory about the person who murdered a 23-year-old teacher in Ireland last week has been revealed by police.

On Wednesday, Ashling Murphy was fatally assaulted while going for an afternoon run along the canal bank at Cappincur, in Tullamore.

Police, known as Gardai in Ireland, have theorised Ms Murphy's attacker was in the area on a bike found near the crime scene in the hours leading up to the murder.

There were reports of a man on a bike stalking another woman along the same canal near Tullamore just hours before the musician was killed.

Pictured is Ashling Murphy, the 23-year-old who was brutally murdered in Ireland last week
Teacher Ashling Murphy, 23, was murdered on Wednesday afternoon along the banks of the Grand Canal at Cappincur. Source: PA via AAP

Gardai believe the man abandoned the bike as he fled the scene when the attack was disrupted by women exercising in the area, The Irish Times reports.

Ms Murphy was still alive when paramedics arrived at the scene and police reportedly believe she tried to fight off her attacker.

DNA has been collected from both the crime scene and the bike left at the scene and will be compared with samples from a suspect who is currently in hospital in Dublin, about 100km away from Tullamore.

The man has been in hospital since the day after the murder and has several wounds, some which may be self-inflicted, The Irish Times reports.

However, the man could not explain his injuries to medical staff when he arrived at the hospital, so police were alerted.

The man has spoken to the police briefly and has not been arrested.

Pictured is a sign at a vigil for Ms Murphy.
Ms Murphy, a teacher and musician, was murdered in broad daylight. Source: PA

Vigils reminiscent of those held in the wake of Sarah Everard's death have been held across the UK in memory of Ms Murphy.

Just metres from where she was killed, her father, Ray Murphy, played Sweet Sixteen — her favourite song — on a banjo.

“She was loved by so many people,” Ms Murphy's school friend Katie Dunne said, according to the Irish Examiner.

“She gave everybody a chance. She never had a bad day or never showed it.”

Wrong man arrested for murder

Shortly after Ms Murphy was killed, police announced they had a man in custody.

It was later confirmed that man had been released from detention and was no longer considered a suspect.

That man, who has been identified as Radu Floricel, has since spoken out about the arrest and quashed all suspicion he was the man seen riding the bike.

"At first I thought it was a joke, I thought it was a prank. The guards were talking about being arrested for the offence of murder and I could not believe it," he told Independent.ie.

Mr Floricel was buying milk at the time and then walked alongside the canal, on the other side of where Ms Murphy was attacked.

Speaking to the Irish Daily Mail, Mr Floricel said when the police questioned him at his home shortly after, they seemed "convinced" he was the man seen in the area.

Police seen at the canal in Ireland. Source: PA
Ms Murphy was murdered along a canal in Ireland. Source: PA

He told Independent.ie he was identified on social media and people were saying "degrading" things about him.

The aftermath of the arrest was a "nightmare", he said, and now Mr Floricel's sister is facing court after she refused to leave the family home when it was declared a crime scene.

Mr Floricel said he was worried about his sister as she has some mental health issues and their home was "destroyed" when the police searched it.

Titanium plates in a leg and arm prevent Mr Floricel from cycling and he doesn't own a bike, something his neighbour told the police.

Mr Floricel is reportedly considering legal action against the police, however he said he does feel sorry for Ms Murphy and her family.

“I feel terrible for the misfortune of the young woman and the family. I can't even imagine what they are going through,” he told the publication.

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