A 45-year-old woman is dead after a 21-year-old man reportedly attacked her in May last year.

The victim was identified as Maria Rawlings who was reportedly attacked by Valentin Lazar.

Per reports, the two crossed paths on a bus with Rawlings traveling back from a hospital. She is a mother of two and had been staying with her daughter in Witham, Essex at the time.

At around 11:00 p.m. and crossed paths with Lazar. In captured CCTV footage, the two could be seen having a conversation before the 21-year-old guided the grandmother by the arm towards some shrubbery where they eventually disappeared.

Moments later, Lazar emerged with a white handbag believed to be that of Rawlings slung over his shoulder. After going over the bag and then leaving it on the pavement, the 21-year-old hopped on another bus at around 1:00 a.m.

According to the bus driver, Lazar appeared to be under the influence of drugs. He showed drug-like energy and his eyes were very wide and fixed.

The body of Rawlings was only discovered the following day by a dog walker at around 2:30 p.m. A baseball cap with Lazar’s DNA was recovered near the body of Rawlings.

In post-mortem examinations, it was found that Rawlings had died of neck compression and a blunt force head injury.

The court heard there were more than 100 sites of blunt force trauma, 15 rib fractures, injuries from multiple blows to the head, defensive wounds to the hands and footprints consistent with being stood on.

Also, a piece of wood with nails poking out of it was found at the scene which was believed to have caused injuries to her face.

It was also suggested by Mr. Emlyn Jones, that a possible sexual motive is tied to the case considering Rawlings had bruises to her inner thighs and was found naked.

Lazar was later identified on social media. Upon his arrest, officers also found clothes matching those of the attacker with traces of blood on them.

Judge Mark Lucraft QC jailed Lazar for life with a minimum term of 23 years and six months.

Handcuffs [Representation Image]
Representation Image Image by luctheo from Pixabay

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