A 20-year-old Australian backpacker has been raped and murdered in south-eastern Africa – her body allegedly dumped on a beach – just days before she was due to fly home.
Elly Warren, from Mordialloc in Melbourne, spent three months backpacking in Mozambique, spending time with a diving group and as a volunteer, teaching African kids how to swim.
She spent the six weeks before her death volunteering for an eco-research company called Underwater Africa, staying at tourist hotspot Tofo Beach in south-eastern Mozambique.
During that time, she stayed at the company’s residences but – having finished up with Underwater Africa on Tuesday – had booked to stay two nights at Wuyani Pariango Beach Motel, about one kilometre away.
She never arrived, and her distraught family were notified that Elly’s body had been found in a toilet block (a local guest house owner reported that her body was found on a beach but this is yet to be confirmed).
Her dad, Paul, confirmed the news to family and friends on Facebook, sharing a photo of her with boyfriend Luke Tempany.
Her sister Kristy described the moment they received the horrific news in a post on Facebook.
“My sister was in Africa while my mum got a phone call from one of the backpackers saying to her that her daughter has been murdered, as I heard that my heart dropped,” she wrote. “It is a parent’s nightmare to get a phone call like this.”
A spokesman from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed it’s “providing consular assistance to the family of a woman who died in Mozambique” but wouldn’t provide any further details.
Her father has confirmed the family will fly to Mozambique in a few days “to bring my baby back home”, once the autopsy on her body has been carried out.
Elly was due to return to Australia on Monday, before travelling to New Zealand with her boyfriend on Friday.
Our thoughts go out to her family and friends during this horrific time.
Source: The Age.