A MURDER investigation was under way last night into the death of a "devoted dad" who may have been lying dead in an abandoned building for up to 24 hours before his body was discovered by teenagers.
Gardai confirmed last night that a post-mortem on the body of Martin Brophy (22) from Waterford city revealed that he had been assaulted.
He was found with head injuries in a former college building at about 5.30 on Monday evening.
Leading the investigation, Superintendent Chris Delaney would not comment on the extent of Mr Brophy's injuries or any possible murder weapon.
However, it is understood Mr Brophy may have been struck with a cement block some time on Sunday evening in the disused property at the junction of New Street, Newgate Street and John's Lane in Waterford.
The last confirmed sighting of him was in the Poleberry area of the city at about 4pm on Saturday evening and investigators are now trying to piece together his movements on Saturday and Sunday.
Mr Brophy's partner Mary Smith was said to be "devastated" by the death and was "too upset" to speak to the media.
The couple were together for four years and have a two-year-old son, Davin.
"You couldn't meet a nicer lad," her mother, also called Mary Smith, said yesterday.
"He was sound out, quiet. He idolised his family . . . he was a devoted dad."
Mr Brophy's partner last saw him on Saturday when they celebrated a family first communion with the Smiths.
Mr Brophy -- known as "Skip" to his friends -- was originally from Ballybeg in Waterford but had been living at Summerhill Terrace before his death.
His mother died some years ago and he is survived by his father, Michael Brophy, as well as three sisters and a brother.
He worked as a painter and decorator until the recession hit four years ago.
It is understood he may have been dead for about 24 hours by the time he was found on Monday evening.
Ms Smith Snr said her daughter could only identify Mr Brophy through his tattoos.
"There was a tattoo of his mam on his arm and he has a 'Davin' tattoo around his neck. It's the only way she could recognise him, his head was so badly injured," she said.
Gardai investigating the death have appealed for information to be passed on to the station in Waterford city on 051-305300.