By Christina Hager

WORCESTER (CBS) – A beloved teacher’s aide was found murdered in her home in Worcester.

Sandra Hehir’s body was discovered Sunday. The medical examiner says she was strangled.

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“There was never anything bad about her, so I don’t know why somebody would just randomly do this to such an inspiring person,” former student Kassandra Schofield said.

The news hit students at Claremont Academy Middle School hard.

“I wouldn’t think anybody would do that to her, she is just a nice person,” student Bob Nuah said. “The school doesn’t feel the same no more.”

Another resident in the building found Hehir dead in her apartment.

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Worcester’s School Superintendent Maureen Binienda was a teacher decades ago when Hehir, known as Buffy, was a student.

“Buffy was known as one of the best athletes that we had at South High School, she was a great basketball player, and also a really good softball player,” Binienda said.

She grew up to be an inspiration in the hallways of her hometown school.

“She would always encourage everybody to do better,” Schofield said. “There was a week when my dad was in the hospital and she encouraged me to go to school because I was going to drop out. It was very heartbreaking.”

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Crisis Counselors were at the school as students got the news. Police now asking the public for information.

Christina Hager