Dawns Echoes Baptiste was found Thursday in Calgary's northeast.
Police say Baptiste had met someone the night before and the two spent the evening going to various areas of the city by light-rail transit.
Investigators believe the pair got off the train just before midnight and walked into a neighbourhood where there was a fight. Baptiste was attacked, then dragged into a nearby yard and sexually assaulted before she died of her injuries.
Curtis Jade Tyson Healy, 25, was arrested on the weekend and is to appear in court Tuesday.
Police have not released the cause of Baptiste's death.
"We haven't received the cause of death from the office of the chief medical examiner," Staff Sgt. Colin Chisholm said Monday. "We can make some pretty good assumptions. It was a very violent altercation that occurred."
He offered a possible explanation as to why it took upwards of 36 hours to find the body, even though it was out in the open.
"The day of and the day after (Baptiste's death) were extremely cold. There probably weren't a lot of people out walking around and, if they were, it was head down, get from A to B."
Chisholm said Baptiste probably didn't know her attacker before that night.
"We believe it was just a chance meeting and they spent the three or four hours prior to her death together," he said. "We have no indication that they knew each other prior to this."
(CHQR, The Canadian Press)