Tragic Nicola Furlong’s brave sister Andrea told how a piece of her heart will always be missing following Nicola’s cruel death.
Nicola’s death is still being investigated by police in Japan.
Heartbroken Andrea, 18, told mourners at Nicola’s funeral in St. Margaret’s Church in Curracloe, Co. Wexford, on Sunday, “Nicola, you were and always will be my one in a million in this world.
“No one will ever be able to replace the piece of my heart that Nicola took to heaven.”
A tearful Andrea also told how Nicola dreamt of marrying her soccer ace boyfriend Danny Furlong.
Andrea said, “She would daydream about her future as a WAG (slang for soccer stars’ wives and girlfriends) to a famous footballer and that would be Danny. She would dream how she’d have a mansion and that I could have an entire floor of it to myself,” Andrea said.
“There are no words in the dictionary to describe my sister, best friend and rock. In time I hope my pain will ease.”
Japanese police believe that 21-year-old Nicola was strangled and sexually assaulted in Tokyo after a Nicki Minaj concert last week.
She arrived in Tokyo with her unnamed Irish girlfriend to attend the show, after traveling the one-hour journey from Takasaki City University of Economics, where she was studying on a one-year exchange course from Dublin City University.
Two American suspects being held in connection with the death of Nicola can be held for up to 23 days before formal charges are laid.
Dancer James Blackston, 23, from South Central Los Angeles and an unnamed 19-year-old musician, who were found with Nicola’s body in a five-star Tokyo hotel, are being held on charges of indecently assaulting Nicola’s friend.
They have already been in police custody for 13 days and can be held for up to 10 days more as police investigate the sexual assault and murder of Nicola.
Under Japanese law suspects are held at a police station or daiyo kangoku, a substitute prison.
The police are renowned for their intensive interrogations designed to get a confession and take considerable time accumulating enough evidence to bring charges.
The standard of evidence for laying formal charges is extremely high and it is common for suspects to be held for considerable periods while police build a case.
Japan has a conviction rate of 99.85%, and prosecutors are reluctant to take on cases unless they believe they can win them.
It is understood that the Furlong family has not been informed of what is happening in relation to the case.