• Primary school teacher Ashling Murphy was found beaten to death on the Grand Canal Way in Ireland Wednesday afternoon
  • A man arrested over the murder was released Thursday and is "no longer a suspect," police said
  • Police have since identified a new "person of interest," but he has not been formally labeled a suspect

A 23-year-old primary school teacher was killed in broad daylight Wednesday while she was out for a run on a busy canal towpath in County Offaly, Ireland.

Ashling Murphy, from Tullamore, central Ireland, was found beaten to death at around 4 p.m. local time (11 a.m. EST) Wednesday on the Grand Canal Way at Cappincur in the town of Tullamore, CNN reported, citing police.

Superintendent Eamonn Curley, of Tullamore Garda Station, said in a statement that initial investigation indicated that the "crime was committed by one male who acted alone" and that the victim's injuries "are consistent with an assault."

Police believe she was likely the victim of a random attack, The Irish Independent reported.

Gardaí (Irish police) made an arrest after two women who were out on a jog in the area witnessed part of the attack and called for help as the suspect ran off.

However, police released the unnamed man, said to be in his 40s, Thursday and said he had been eliminated from their inquiries and was no longer a suspect. Evidence gathered by detectives was sent to Forensic Science Ireland and showed no link to the man.

The man has since gone into hiding because his name and image were spread on social media and messaging apps, his lawyer said.

“It is a terrible tragedy what happened to this lady, what happened to her and her family, but this man has been vilified on social media,” Donal Farrelly said in a statement to Irish Independent. “Absolutely vilified, and everybody clearly identified who he was on social media.”

“It has made life unbearable for him I would say,” Farrelly continued. “It is dreadful- the amount of hurt, and anger, and ire about him on social media is frightening.”

Police have since identified a new "person of interest" in relation to the investigation. Officers have not formally labeled the unnamed man a suspect.

Officers also released an image of a green and yellow mountain bike believed to be linked to the victim's murder.

A team of more than 50 gardaí were assigned to the murder investigation, and an incident room has been set up in Tullamore, the BBC reported.

"No stone will be left unturned in bringing the perpetrator of this crime to justice," said Curley.

No other information has been released as of this writing.

Irish police are urging anyone with information related to the case to come forward or contact any garda station.

Vigils paying tribute to the young teacher took place across Ireland Friday.

Murphy graduated from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick just three months ago, according to college president Eugene Wall. She was working at the school where she taught, Durrow national school, just an hour before she was killed, police said.

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