Fort Collins police on Thursday confirmed they have arrested a 28-year-old self-described transient who they say sexually assaulted and killed a 23-year-old Fort Collins woman whose body was dumped in a lake at City Park last week.

Jeffrey Scott Etheridge was arrested late Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree murder. Sexual assault charges are also possible, police said. Investigators obtained a warrant for his arrest Wednesday after they discovered unspecified evidence they say links him to the June 21 death of Heather "Helena" Hoffmann.

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"After evaluating the scene and conducting numerous interviews, detectives ruled out the possibility of accidental injury or death," police said Thursday in a statement.

Additional details were not immediately available.

Prior to the arrest, investigators hadn't revealed much about what had or had not changed in the days since first labeling the death of the 23-year-old mother as "suspicious." Until Thursday, it was unclear whether any suspects were being investigated or even whether the woman was killed after she left work at the Campus West McDonald's about 1 a.m. June 21.

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