The woman whose body was found in a Melbourne park has been identified as 25-year-old Courtney Herron.
Addressing media on Sunday afternoon, Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said Ms Herron’s death was the result of a “horrific bashing”.
She was found by dog walkers at Royal Park in Parkville, about four kilometres north of the city’s CBD, on Saturday about 9.15am.
Police said the last confirmed sighting of Ms Herron was in St Albans on May 14 when she was in contact with officers over a minor incident.
Efforts had been made by her attacker, who police said used an “extreme level of violence”, to conceal her body.
Det Insp Stamper said Ms Herron’s transient nature life, her mental health and frequent drug use were factors that made her particularly vulnerable to such an attack.
He appealed for anyone who may have been driving or walking near the intersection of Elliot Avenue and Flemington Road on Friday night or Saturday morning to come forward.
Ms Herron had no fixed address and police believe she had been both couch-surfing and possibly sleeping rough in the days prior to her death.
The park is one of Melbourne's busiest by day and used by rough sleepers at night.
The fourth Melbourne woman’s death in 12 months
It is also a short distance from Princes Park, where aspiring comedian Eurydice Dixon's body was found on June 12 last year.
The death is the latest in a series of women killed and dumped on Melbourne's streets since Ms Dixon's rape and murder.
At the time of her death, Ms Herron was wearing a light brown sleeveless vest/jacket, a black hoodie, black track pants, black runners and a blue singlet top.
The top featured pink buildings, gold sequins and a large blue rose on the lower right side.
Det Insp Stamper said detectives and forensic scientists had been working through the night.
“We are committed to finding the person, or people, responsible for this horrific attack,” he said.
“We are appealing for the community’s help and remind them that no piece of information is too big or too small.
“We know a number of people use this park and urge anyone with information or who may have seen anything suspicious to come forward.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.
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