Melbourne teacher Shanae Brooke Edwards, 31, is believed to have been murdered in the Eastern European country of Georgia while on the phone with her best friend, with her last words reportedly being a plea for help.
Edwards’ body was found on July 31 on the mountain tracks of Mount Mtatsminda, which is just outside the city of Tbilisi, where she was believed to have been teaching English.
She was reported as missing on July 30, after she reportedly went for a solo mountain hike and never returned. She was last seen at the Church of Mikhail of Tver, which is notably right next to the Mount Mtatsminda Park trails.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia is currently operating an investigation into what they believe was premeditated murder.
An initial volunteer search party, however, was mustered after Edwards’ friend in California received a call from her, begging for help while she was being attacked.
News.com.au reports that her last words on the phone to her friend were “please let me go, okay… just let me go.”
Edwards is believed to have been murdered shortly after.
News.com.au also reports that multiple people online have made claims of seeing a mysterious man around the Mount Mtatsminda area.
Georgian Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri said in a press statement that they had “some information” about who the murderer was, identifying that they were not a foreign citizen.
“The ministry and police officers are doing their best to find the murderer,” he said, according to Agenda.ge.
“We [the Ministry of Internal Affairs] have some information, though I can not talk about it due to the interests of the investigation,” he said.
Edwards’ friends and family have expressed their grief over her death on social media, and a mourning post has been shared to the Facebook group Expats in Tbilisi, in which Edwards was a member.
“The Australian Government offers its deepest condolences to the family of an Australian woman whose death is being investigated by authorities in Tbilisi, Georgia,” a spokesperson from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.
“DFAT is providing consular assistance to the woman’s family. Owing to our privacy obligations we will not provide further detail.”