A young woman has been found dead outside a Melbourne shopping centre.
She has been identified as an Israeli student studying in Australia.
Aya Masarwe’s (believed to be in her early 20s) partially naked body was found by window washers in scrub outside the Polaris shopping centre on Main Drive near Plenty Road in the Melbourne suburb of Bundoora at 7am on Wednesday.
Her family confirmed the tragic news to Daily Mail Australia on Thursday morning.
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According to Israeli reports, she previously lived in China and was studying in Australia on a scholarship.
Homicide detectives suspect Ms Masarwe may have been stalked after getting off the Route 86 tram – which runs from Docklands to Bundoora – some time after 11pm on Tuesday.
Ms Masarwe had been to a comedy show on Tuesday night and was speaking to her sister via FaceTime on her way home.
During a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said it was apparent the women had been assaulted.
Detective Inspector Stamper said the 21-year-old may have been followed as she boarded the 86 tram from the city around 11pm on Tuesday.
CCTV is expected to become the main focus of the investigation as police work to piece together the victim’s final movements.
‘We really need the community’s assistance with this. We would ask for anyone that may have dashcam footage, CCTV, may have seen anything here, anything that could be a small piece in the jigsaw puzzle to contact Crime Stoppers,’ he said.
He has urged anyone with information to come forward.
‘Anyone that may have been passing through this intersection, dash cam footage, or may have just seen something they think might help, call us.’
Ms Masarwe’s father was on his way to Australia to formally identify his daughter’s body, and was in contact with the Israeli Embassy in Canberra, which would help arrange for her body to be sent to Israel for burial.
Our thoughts are with the family.
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