Police investigating the murder of teacher Ashling Murphy have identified a new suspect, it has emerged.
Investigators are following a new line of inquiry after the 23-year-old was killed while out jogging by a canal, the Irish Mirror reports.
Ashling was violently killed along the banks of the Grand Canal at Cappincur in Tullamore, Co Offaly, Ireland, on Wednesday.
Gardai arrested a 40-year-old man in the hours following the attack and he was held until Thursday night but he is no longer a suspect in the case.
A source told the Irish Mirror: “A line of inquiry is being followed and a new suspect has been identified.”
Ashling’s heartbroken parents have paid tribute to their ‘special’ daughter.
The primary school teacher’s mother Kathleen, said: “The last thing she’d say in the morning going out was ‘Mam, I love you’.”
Ashling was described as ‘special’ and ‘a little angel’ by her heartbroken father
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She was killed while jogging along a canal in Ireland
Father Raymond added: “She was just a special girl.
“She’s the youngest, a little angel. She was a brilliant girl in every sense of the word.”
Ashling, well known throughout the country for her musical talents, taught first class students at Durrow National School in Tullamore, Co Offaly.
Hundreds of people attended a vigil in Galway last night to remember the 23-year-old.
A number of celebrities, including Love Island host Laura Whitmore and star Maura Higgins have demanded justice for Ashling.
Flowers have been left beside the Grand Canal in Tullamore
Laura, 36, said: “Heartbreaking and petrifying. What are we doing to keep women safe?
“I never walk the dog after 5pm alone and even that isn’t safe anymore. My thoughts with Ashlings friends and family. I cant imagine their pain.”
Her killer is still at large following the release of a man being questioned by police last night who has been eliminated from enquiries.
Gardai have appealed for witnesses and asked anyone with information about a “Falcon Storm mountain bike” with “straight handlebars and distinctive yellow/green front forks” to come forward.
One tribute said ‘rest in peace to a beautiful soul, this world is too cruel’
In a statement, a police spokesperson said: “The male who was arrested and detained by An Garda Siochana investigating this fatal assault has now been released from this detention.
“This male has been eliminated from Garda inquiries and is no longer a suspect.”
The Irish police force has promised to leave “no stone unturned” in bringing Ms Murphy’s killer to justice.
Irish premier Micheal Martin said: “The entire country is devastated and shocked by the violent and barbaric killing of Ashling Murphy, a young woman in the prime of her life,” he said.
“There is no place in our society for violence, particularly violence against women. It cannot and will not be tolerated.
“The safety and security of women is at the core of our society’s values.”