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Man quizzed over death of Ioana Mihaela in Co Meath ‘was known to victim’

Ioana Mihaela (30) was found dead in a bedroom in her Ratoath apartment over the weekend

Ioana Miheala, originally from Romania, had been living in Ireland for some time and had only moved into the apartment in recent weeks

Gardaí at the scene at Riverwalk Court apartments in Ratoath, where the body of Ioana Miheala was discovered. Photo: Frank McGrath



A man being questioned by gardaí in connection with the death of Ioana Mihaela in Co Meath was known to the victim, sources say.

Ms Mihaela (30) was killed during an apparent assault at her home in Ratoath over the weekend.

Her body was discovered on Saturday evening inside her flat at the Riverwalk Court apartment complex, where she had recently moved.

Emergency services were alerted after the suspect contacted a friend of the victim who then raised the alarm.

When first responders arrived shortly after 6pm they found Ms Mihaela dead in a bedroom and another male at the scene.

This individual, who is aged in his 30s, was known to the victim.

The suspect was arrested and last night remained in custody at Ashbourne garda station in relation to the suspected murder.

It’s understood he has not previously come to the attention of gardaí for violent crime.

Detectives are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident but are appealing for anyone with further information to come forward.

Ms Mihaela was originally from Romania but had been living in Ireland for some time.

She had only celebrated her 30th birthday last month and had moved into the Riverwalk Court apartments in recent weeks.

Family and loved ones of the deceased have been paying tribute to her while expressing their shock at the killing.

Her sibling Tocoian Estera wrote online: “Smooth road to heaven, my beautiful sister, you left a huge pain.”

One friend of the deceased also said: “I can’t believe you are no longer among us, I am speechless...

"I will never forget you.”

Another woman who knew Ioana well expressed her anger at her death saying there was “no excuse” for what had happened.

The scene remained sealed-off yesterday as gardaí continued to carry out an examination of the flat.

An incident room has been established at Ashbourne garda station and a senior investigator has been appointed to oversee the inquiry into the death.

At around midday her remains were removed from the scene.

Gardaí said they were brought to the City Morgue in Whitehall.

Dr Margot Bolster, with the Office of the State Pathologist, was expected to carry out a post mortem examination yesterday evening.

A spokesman added: “Investigating gardaí continue to question a man aged in his 30s arrested at the scene.

“He is currently detained at Ashbourne garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

“The Garda Technical Bureau are examining the scene which remains sealed off.

“No further information and no Garda spokesperson is available at this time.

"Enquires are ongoing and further updates will follow,” the spokesman added.

The suspect can be questioned for a total of 24 hours before he must either be charged or released from custody pending a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Independent Ratoath councillor Gillian Toole said people could be seen “shaking their heads” in disbelief as news of the woman’s death spread after 9 o’clock mass yesterday morning.

She said there was a sense of “shock, sadness” but also “frustration and anger” at the senseless loss of life.

“We have to start getting to the bottom of why these things happen and put measures in place to stop these tragedies from happening,” Ms Toole said.

“The perpetual thing people always ask is ‘why?’. But I think we have to start asking why with a serious intention to really solve the ‘why’.”

“What is going on wrong that young lives are ending prematurely.

"That people’s potential is stopping abruptly,” she added.

Gardaí at Ashbourne garda station are continuing to appeal for anyone in relation to the incident to contact them.

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