Israeli student attacked and killed in Melbourne while on FaceTime to sister

A 21-year-old Israeli student has been attacked and killed in Melbourne, Australia, while she was on FaceTime to her sister.

Aiia Maasarwe's body was found partially clothed in bushes in Bundoora in the north of the city on Wednesday morning. She had taken a tram home after a comedy show on Tuesday evening. 

Her sister told police she "heard the sound of the phone falling to the ground and heard some voices," 9 News reports. 

Police are still searching for her killer. 

They have not ruled out the possibility that Aiia was sexually assaulted, with known sex offenders "an active line of inquiry".

"Our presumption at this stage is that this was a random attack and opportunistic," Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said. 

CCTV footage of Aiia.
CCTV footage of Aiia. Photo credit: Victoria Police

He said further details about her injuries will not be revealed out of respect for her family. 

"This was an absolutely horrendous, horrific attack that was committed against an innocent young woman," Detective Inspector Stamper said.

Police believe a black cap emblazoned with "1986" and a grey t-shirt found near the crime scene were left by her killer and are being forensically tested. Police are also scouring CCTV footage for clues.

Israeli student attacked and killed in Melbourne while on FaceTime to sister
Photo credit: 7 News

Aiia's uncle, Rame Maasarwe, spoke to 9News, saying her death was the "last thing" he expected in Australia.

"You never think anything (like this will) happen in Australia, it's a very safe place."

He described his niece as very energetic and always smiling. 

Ms Maasarwe had only been in Melbourne for around six months on a study abroad programme at La Trobe University. 

The University says the community is absolutely "shocked" and "saddened" by her death.


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