A suspect arrested near the scene told gardai that she had sat on him, sources have revealed.
The body of Walter Plunkett (81) was found at his home in Ballyedmond, Co Wexford shortly before 5pm yesterday. A 51-year-old woman – known to the victim – was arrested and questioned at Enniscorthy Garda Station by gardai but is now receiving psychiatric care.
Reports also claimed the arrested woman was walking naked in the locality beforehand.
“There were no visible injuries to Mr Plunkett's body but the suspect is heavyset so it is plausible that if she sat on him it could have caused serious harm,” a source said.
Sources have revealed that the woman has a history of psychiatric problems and has issued threats to people in the locality where she lived in the past.
However, she has no convictions or history of criminal activity.
It is understood that Mr Plunkett rang a number of his neighbours yesterday expressing concern for his safety -- these neighbours then contacted gardai.
Officers went to the scene where they found his body lying in the front garden of his home, which is situated about 150m off the main Wexford/Gorey road.
The emergency services were alerted but medical personnel pronounced the man dead at the scene.
Gardai immediately sealed off the house while traffic from the main road was diverted. Mr Plunkett's black 09 registered Nissan Micra was parked in the driveway.
A small tent was erected over the body, while gardai maintained strict security on the approach road to the house, and at the front gate.
Neighbours were shocked over the death of the man who they described as a "quiet" and long standing neighbour.
As a local clergyman arrived to provide the last rites, one neighbour, with tears streaming from her eyes, said it was a "total shock".
Father-of-one Mr Plunkett moved to Ballyedmond, Co Wexford, from England around 20 years ago. He moved into the house, which is located in the townland of Ballyrea with his wife and daughter.
His wife died a number of years ago and he began another relationship with a local woman.
The investigations is being headed by Chief Supt John Roche and Inspector Pat Cody from Enniscorthy garda station.
Detectives are expected to make a decision on upgrading the probe this morning.
By Ken Foy and Eimear ni Bhraonain