Video: Murdered student was planning to confront man over money
MURDERED student Rudo Mawere told friends she was going to confront a man who owed her money on the day she was killed.
The body of the woman, aged in her mid 20s, was discovered stuffed into a travel bag on a quiet residential street in north inner-city Dublin on Sunday morning.
Detectives suspect she may have been strangled in a nearby apartment.
Officers believe the prime suspect in the killing has fled the state, and may now be in the UK. It is understood the man had been using Ms Mawere's bank card.
She left work early on Saturday and phoned a friend to tell her she was going to talk to him about the money. It was the last anybody heard from her.
Gardai believe Ms Mawere may have been in a row with a man prior to her killing.
Officers raided a flat -- which remains sealed off while it is forensically searched -- on Aughrim Street in the north inner city on Monday night and gardai were conducting door-to-door enquiries yesterday.
A prayer service took place last night for the murdered woman in south Dublin. A preacher for the Malawian community spoke of the need to show "strength" and "power" at such a difficult time.
"Moments like this will keep on happening. We should never stop coming together and encouraging each other," he said during the service. "It is not right."
Ms Mawere had been living in a shared rented flat in Rathmines, south Dublin, but her body was discovered inside the large travel bag on St David's Terrace, just yards from McKee Army barracks in the north of the city. The 26-year-old student was from Masvingo province in Zimbabwe and had been living in Ireland for about two years. She had relatives in Malawi and had described herself as Malawian.
A friend, Alindafe Malinda, from Malawi, who was in her human resources diploma class at the Business and Computer Training Institute (BCT) on Parnell Square, Dublin, described her as "cheerful person".
"She used to stay sometimes in Zimbabwe," he said. "She is a Malawian, she has parents from both sides. People in the community were shocked."
A spokesman for BCT college said: "We are very sorry about what happened with her, especially as she is an international student.
"She doesn't know anyone in terms of relatives in Dublin. Our condolences go out to her family."
Her sister Mary and her husband refused to comment when contacted in the Malawian capital Lilongwe yesterday, but another relative said they wanted privacy.
Kenyatta Mbumba Kunje, a classmate at BCT college, described her as "a nice person, very friendly" who was a "good student".
Detectives believe the bag containing Ms Mawere's body was abandoned beside rubbish bins on Saturday evening, just hours after she had spoken with her friends. She was found fully dressed in the travel bag with a plastic bag over her head, which detectives believe was put on after she was killed.
Gardai have appealed for anyone who saw a luggage bag being dragged in the Blackhorse Avenue area on Saturday to come forward.
Additional reporting Colm Kelpie