20-Year-Old Man Arrested In Connection To The Murder Of Aiia Maasarwe

Victoria Police have arrested a 20-year-old man in connection to the murder of 21-year-old Palestinian student Aiia Maasarwe.

Reports suggest the suspect was identified after forensic evidence was found on a shirt and cap that was discarded near the scene of the murder in Bundoora. Subsequent analysis lead police to make the arrest at approximately 11:20am this morning in the Melbourne suburb of Greensborough.

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Victoria Police issued a statement confirming the arrest a short time ago:

Homicide Squad detectives have arrested a man as part of the ongoing investigation into the death of Aiia Maasarwe.

The 20-year-old was arrested in Greensborough by local police working in partnership with homicide detectives about 11.20am.

The arrest followings an extensive investigation into Aiia’s death following the discovery of her body near Main Drive and Plenty Road in Bundoora on Wednesday 16 January about 7am.

Police would like to thank the public for their assistance with the investigation.

Maasarwe was allegedly assaulted and murdered late on Tuesday night as she was travelling home from a comedy show in North Melbourne. Police described the attack as “opportunistic” and “absolutely horrific.” It’s believed Maasarwe did not know her attacker. At the time of the incident, she was speaking to family back home in the Middle East via FaceTime.

Initial police reports suggested the unidentified suspect may have been bloodied in the attack, and had taken several items from Maasarwe’s handbag.

She was found in the early hours of Wednesday morning, dumped just outside a shopping centre.

Silent vigils are being held for Aiia across Australia today and this evening, with a major gathering planned to commence at 6pm on the steps of Victorian State Parliament in Melbourne.