My world has fallen apart since Nicola's death

Ken Foy, Crime correspondent

THE soccer star boyfriend of the tragic DCU student who was killed in Japan says that he hopes "justice will be done" as the investigation into Nicola Furlong's death continues.

Heartbroken Danny Furlong (21) spoke to the Herald as Nicola's dad Andrew and uncle Denis get ready to travel to Tokyo tomorrow in an attempt to get more information from police about her shocking death.

Danny - who plays for the Wexford Youths soccer team - told how his "world fell apart" when he learnt of the death of his "beautiful" girlfriend , who he had been in a loving relationship with for two years.

"I didn't believe it when my mother woke me that morning to tell me and to this day I still can't believe it really," Danny said.

Danny recalled the last contact he had with her, just hours before her death, saying: "I remember she wrote to me on Facebook message just before she went to the Nicki Minaj concert and she said that she loved me and that when she got back to her apartment she would text me.

"But she didn't and that was not like her at all. Since she went to Japan we were always in contact all the time so it didn't feel right when I didn't hear from her. We chatted all day and all night on Facebook, Skype and our phones.

"I didn't sleep at all that night. I just kept checking my phone to see if there was a text from her but there was nothing.

"The next thing I remember was my door opening and my mam shouting at me. She sat on my bed. I told her to tell me what was wrong.

"For the first few hours I was in bits. I was crying and I had to ring someone. I had to ask was she actually gone."

Dancer James Blackston from South Central Los Angeles and an unnamed 19-year-old musician, who was found with Nicola's body in a 5-star Tokyo hotel almost a fortnight ago, are being held on charges of indecently assaulting Nicola's 21-year-old friend from Co Wexford.

The American suspects can be held for up to 23 days before formal charges are brought. They have already been in police custody for 12 days and can be held for up to 11 days more as police investigate the sexual assault and murder of Nicola (21). The initial detention period of 72 hours can be extended by two 10-day periods.

Devastated Danny has no plans to travel to Japan and preferred to focus on the last occasion he spent time with Nicola when she returned to Co Wexford for seven weeks in February and March when the Japanese college she was studying in closed for holidays.

He explained: "We were together every day and night - either she would stay in my house or I would. We loved going to the cinema, driving and socialising. We went down to Cork just before Nicola went back to Japan and visited Fota Island when we there."

Danny pointed out that even though Nicola was not a big football fan, he managed to convince her to go to a Wexford Youths v Cork City game - he was suspended for that match.

"I remember once she came to watch me play and I scored twice in that game but she didn't even notice - she asked me what the score was at the end of the match."