Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova murdered

A candlelight vigil in Marinova's memory is organised for Monday evening in Sofia

A candlelight vigil in Marinova's memory is organised for Monday evening in Sofia

"Shocked by horrific murder of investigative journalist Viktoria Marinova in Bulgaria", tweeted Harlem Desir, the media freedom representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Viktoria Marinova became the latest investigative reporter to be killed when she was found dead in Bulgaria over the weekend.

She died after doing a TV report on alleged fraud involving European Union tenders and Bulgarian infrastructure firm GP Group, according to the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), an EU-funded NGO in the region.

Her boy was found dumped in a public park near the River Danube.

A man lights a candle during a vigil in memory of murdered Bulgarian TV journalist Viktoria Marinova in Sofia.

"The best criminologists have been sent to Ruse - let's not hurry them", Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said.

The pair were briefly detained by police, drawing condemnation from Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Condolences poured in on social media for Marinova who leaves behind a small child.

Authorities are in the process of identifying witnesses and establishing a motive for murder, CNN reported.

Marinova was planning to investigate corruption of European Union funds shortly before she was murdered, Bulgarian officials told ABC News.

A journalist is killed on average every week around the world, according to figures compiled by RSF.

Last October, prominent Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who exposed the Maltese prime minister's offshore dealings in the Panama Papers scandal, died in a vehicle bomb attack.

A Bulgarian investigative online site owner has called for an independent worldwide inquiry into the rape and slaying of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova.

Police said they had three possible motives including that she was attacked by someone with a mental disorder, that the attack was planned, or that it was linked to her personal life.

Interior Minister Mladen Marinov has said that there was no evidence to suggest a link to Marinova's work as journalist so far - something echoed by police and prosecutors.

A journalist from TVN told AFP they are "in shock".

Marinova's murder has drawn global condemnation and calls from media watchdogs for a comprehensive investigation.

Marinova's killing - as a random act of violence or as a targeted hit - comes after two other cases that provoked concerns about press freedom in Europe. It is also the worst in the Western Balkans, a region Sofia hopes to bring closer to the EU. The research is checking all theories including those related to Marinova's journalistic work.

Reporters Without Borders warned past year about a suspected murder plot against a Bulgarian publisher, Georgi Ezekiev.

Yordanov said that "to get to the truth we are calling for an independent investigation. we want independent European investigators to get involved because we believe the Bulgarian authorities are part of this country's criminal network".

A veteran TV reporter, Marinova for many years hosted a lifestyle show and also served as a member of the management team of TVN.

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