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Appeal launched to repatriate remains of Brazilian woman Bruna Fonseca after violent death

The GoFundMe appeal was launched by friends and family of Bruna Fonseca to ensure her body can be flown back to her South American home

Ralph RiegelIndependent.ie

Friends of a woman found allegedly beaten and strangled in a Cork flat on New Year's Day have launched an appeal to raise €30,000 to repatriate her body to her native Brazil.

The GoFundMe appeal was launched by friends and family of the late Bruna Fonseca to ensure the body of the 28-year-old university graduate can be flown back to her South American home for Requiem Mass and burial.

Maria Luiza Fonseca launched the appeal with the aim of raising €30,000.

"The fundraising is to send back Bruna Fonseca's body to Brazil," she explained in the appeal notice.

Over 100 donations were made in the first hour of the appeal being launched.

The surge in donations has raised hopes that the entire funds required will be raised within 24 to 48 hours.

Ms Fonseca, who was from Formiga in Brazil, travelled to Ireland last year for work.

She was employed by BidVest-Noonan contract cleaners.

She had graduated from university in Brazil and had worked for a time as a librarian before deciding to relocate to Ireland last September.

Bruna Fonseca. Picture: GoFundMe

Her work in Cork included duties at the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) which is located less than 100 metres from where her body was found at 6.30am on New Year's Day.

Gardaí and paramedics attended the Liberty Street flat at 6.30am on New Year's Day but efforts to revive the young woman failed and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post mortem examination was conducted at Cork University Hospital (CUH) by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster on Sunday afternoon.

Gardaí have withheld the post-mortem findings for operational reasons.

However, they confirmed that Ms Fonseca met a violent death.

Her body was found in an upstairs flat at Liberty Street in Cork city centre just a couple of hours after she had gone out with friends to celebrate New Year's Eve.

The flat involved is located just 100 metres from the Bridewell Garda Station and around the corner from Cork Courthouse on Washington Street.

Ms Fonseca's body was found on a bed in an upstairs bedroom at the flat which is located above Picasso's hair salon.

Gardaí have appointed a family liaison officer to assist her family in Brazil.

It is understood her family are hoping to travel to Ireland to supervise arrangements for the repatriation of their daughter's remains back to Brazil.

The garda investigation includes an analysis of hours of CCTV footage from premises around Cork city centre, door-to-door inquiries and exhaustive forensic tests at the Liberty Street flat where Ms Fonseca's body was discovered.

Social media postings are also set to play a critical role in the garda investigation in terms of tracking Ms Fonseca's last known movements.

In a tribute, both MUH and Bidvest Noonan hailed Ms Fonseca as a diligent worker - and said they were "saddened and shocked" at her death.

"Even though she was only working for a short time for the company at the hospital she was considered a hard and diligent worker and an esteemed colleague. We extend our deepest condolences to her friends in Cork, and her family and friends in Brazil. May she rest in peace,” they said.

Ms Fonseca's former partner, Miller Pacheco (29), was charged with her murder before a special sitting of Cork District Court on Monday.

Pacheco - who had an address at Liberty Street in Cork - was remanded in custody to appear again before Cork District Court by video link on January 9.

He did not speak during the brief court hearing.

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