Police in Australia said a 25-year-old homeless woman was killed in a “horrendous bashing” after her body was found by walkers at a park in Melbourne over the weekend.
Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper told reporters that Courtney Herron was attacked not far from where her body was found, in the suburb of Parkville.
He said there had been an effort to conceal her body behind a partially burned log.
"She died as a result of a horrendous bashing,” he said. "That’s the only way to describe it,” he told the BBC.
A 27-year-old homeless man, identified as Henry Hammond, was arrested and charged with murder. He appeared in court Monday, police said.
Samper said it was unclear if a weapon had been used in the attack and that a post-mortem examination had so indicated that Herron had not been sexually assaulted.
The body of Courtney Herron, 25, was found at a park in Melbourne, Australia. Police said she was the victim of a "horrendous bashing." (Victoria Police)
Stamper said the woman had experienced mental health and drug abuse problems in the past and she was believed to have been “couch surfing with friends” at the time of her attack. He said her family was “heartbroken.”
A group called We Keep Vigil is expected to hold a ceremony for Herron on Friday.
Victoria police said dog walkers found the body of Herron just a short distance away from where comedian Eurydice Dixon was allegedly raped and killed by a stranger last June.
Herron actually is the fourth woman killed in a public space in Melbourne in the past 12 months.
In January, 21-year-old Israeli Arab student Aiia Massarwe was attacked by a stranger while walking home from a club in the Australian city. Her death came six months after Dixon was found dead at a Melbourne park.
Jaymes Todd, 19, has pleaded guilty to the murder and rape of Dixon and will return to court in August, while Codey Herrmann, 20, has been charged with attacking Maasarwe.
In April, Natalina Angok’s body was found in Melbourne’s Chinatown, allegedly killed by her one-time partner Christopher Allen, who has been charged, the Guardian reported.
Assistant police commission, Luke Cornelius, told reporters over the weekend that Melbourne is a safe city but men’s attitudes towards women need to change.
“Certainly there have been instances in our recent past where women have been attacked and they have been attacked by men,” Cornelius said, according to The Guardian. “The key point is [that] this is about men’s behavior, it’s not about women’s behavior.
“Women, and men, are absolutely entitled [to] and should feel safe to go about their normal day-to-day activities.”
The premier of Victoria state, Daniel Andrew, made a similar statement saying: "This is not about the way women behave… this is most likely about the behavior of men."