GARDAI is probing whether killer Ashling Murphy stalked potential victims along the canal in Tullamore 24 hours before she was brutally murdered.
The Irish Sun on Sunday can reveal detectives have received reports of a man on a bicycle being seen acting suspiciously in the area.
This comes after a woman in her 40s claimed she was approached by a cyclist just two hours earlier. Ashling was murdered at the canal bank in Cappincur, Tullamore, Co Offaly, last Wednesday afternoon.
A source said: ‘It’s very concerning that Ashling’s killer may have been in the same area trying to identify other innocent women.
“This is a random and barbaric attack on a young woman who has her whole life ahead of her.”
A Garda spokesperson told us: “We have received a lot of information from the public since the fatal attack of Ashling Murphy at 4pm on Wednesday, January 12.
“All of that information needs to be checked and reconciled to see if it is relevant to the ongoing investigation.
“We still encourage people to provide information and we will decide how relevant it is.
“We would like to thank members of the public for providing some information.”
Last night, the suspect was still continuing treatment at a hospital in Dublin.
The suspect lives outside Tullamore and is believed to have traveled to Dublin after the murder of the young teacher.
When he got there, he was said to have stayed at a house in the south of the city before an associate took him to the hospital because he suffered a facial injury.
As part of the investigation, officers from the National Criminal Investigation Bureau searched Dublin’s south beach on Friday night and seized clothing items.
Those items will now be tested for DNA.
It is also understood that gardai received forensic evidence and fingerprints from the Falcon Storm mountain bike they recovered near the horrific crime scene.
Gardai is also trying to identify a man caught on CCTV who was riding a bicycle in the vicinity during or around the time of the murder.
The detectives – who are still shocked by the violent nature of the attack – also believe that Ashling may have obtained the DNA of her killer in a brave attempt against him.
At the same time, his home in the suburbs of Tullamore was also searched for clues by investigators.
Gardai is probing the suspect’s claims that he was injured elsewhere in the city earlier that day.
We can also reveal that a man known to the suspect called into a station north of Dublin Garda to inform officers that he had just dropped his colleague off at the hospital.
Officers in Dublin then contacted their Garda colleagues in Tullamore, who promptly reached the capital.
After receiving permission from the doctors to do so, gardai hopes to interview the man in the coming days.
Detectives will also speak to his family and friends to try to determine details of his movements in recent weeks. They will also create a profile of the suspect to verify if he has ever experienced abuse.
As they await news of the suspect’s condition, gardai is continuing to scan CCTV images to collect the suspect’s movements.
A source added: ‘The investigation is progressing well and the gardener’s hope is that he can be interviewed in the coming days.
“A lot of evidence has been collected and efforts are continuing to gather more evidence in the investigation.”
Gardai on Friday set up a dedicated phone line for anyone with information that could assist with their poll – which can be reached on 057 9357060.
Meanwhile, runners all over the island of Ireland stopped in Ashling’s memory yesterday likevigilance continues both nationally and in London.
Park Run runners in the Republic, Northern Ireland and beyond kept a moment of silence yesterday morning for Ms Murphy. Thousands have gathered in Cork for prayers and walks, with more planned in Kilkenny, Athlone, Greystones, Sligo and Birr today.
The director of the Cork Center for Sexual Abuse, Mary Crilly, said turnout at Atlantic Pond near GAA property, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, was phenomenal.
Two walks took place in Ashling’s hometown Offaly along the Grand Canal in Rhode and Edenderry, while in Smithfield in Dublin, another ceremony drew large numbers.
And beyond that, a huge crowd gathered in London, England, in solidarity with Ashling’s family.
They told them how they were “appreciated and overwhelmed by the nationwide support for them” after attending vigils in Tullamore on Friday.
Vigils have also been planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland, as well as Brisbane in Australia.
In London, people held candles and stood in silence in remembrance outside London’s Irish Centre, as large numbers lined up in Camden Square to sign condolence books and lay flowers. Traditional music was played in honor of Miss Murphy, a talented fiddle player, while a silent crowd sang or hummed along.
Anna Johnston, culture official at the Irish Center London, said those there were in solidarity with those who knew and loved Ms Murphy “and all Irish women and beyond who are angry. , suffering and heartbreak”.
Addressing the crowd, she added: “Today, with Ashling, we remember all the women who lost their lives as a result of gender-based violence. We shouldn’t be here, and Ashling should be here. ”
There was a minute of silence, then the young teacher’s favorite song, When You Were Sweet Sixteen, was played.
Her father, Raymond Murphy, tearfully played the tune on the banjo in memory of his youngest daughter during a vigil Friday near the scene of her murder.
Last year, in London, people gathered to remember young marketing executive Sarah Everard and school teacher Sabina Nessa – two women who were fatally attacked while they were walking in the British capital.
A small sign near the entrance to the Ireland Center in London reads their names and those of other women who have died, under the word “RIP”.
A steady stream of people place flowers and candles as darkness descends. A memorial flower left outside the center reads: “Your beautiful life has been stolen by evil. You deserve so much better. May your soul live forever in music. ”
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8212440/ashling-murphy-theory-killer-stalked-victims-canal/ Homicide cop Ashling Murphy probes scary theory killer stalks victims on channel for 24 hours before brutal murder