Aiia Maasarwe: Police Arrest 20-Year-Old Man Over Bundoora Murder

Police cordon off the area of bushes where the body was found at Polaris Shopping Centre. Source AAPMore

Australia police on Friday arrested a man in relation to the murder of Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe, some two days after her body was found in Melbourne.

Police thanked the public for their assistance with the investigation.

Maasarwe, who was reportedly five months into a year-long exchange at Melbourne's LaTrobe University, was riding a tram home from a comedy club to the suburb of Bundoora before she was met by her attacker around midnight.

Another of the attendees, Aina Raahman, said she lived on the 86 tram line.

Maasarwe's body was found on Wednesday morning by passers-by at 7am about 50m from the stop where she exited the tram.

La Trobe University vice-chancellor John Dewar said the university had "intensified" its security following the attack.

Therapy dogs walked through the crowd.

She was attacked while speaking on the phone to her sister, authorities said.

"Sadly her sister was talking to her and she appeared to fall to the ground and then she couldn't contact her", he said.

"This Friday evening a group of us will be keeping silent vigil on the steps of Parliament, in solidarity with all those who have lost their loved ones, to honour the lives of women and children so brutally ended by male violence, to show our fury and strength and determination for change".

Maasarwe, a Palestinian Arab of Israeli citizenship, had been in Melbourne for six months on a student exchange program and was working towards a business degree, with intentions to work with her father in China.




Her father has left Israel for Melbourne in a bid to arrange her body's return home, Mr Katane told the newspaper.

"When I see people here like this, huge people, support us and give us good feeling about Australia and the community here in Australia we appreciate all of them one by one", he said.

Police have described it as an "absolutely horrendous, horrific attack".

Police said they were confident of finding the perpetrator.

The vigil will extend to a "Flower Only" route 86 tram which will be filled with red roses - Maasarwe's favourite.

"Out of respect to the family, we're not going into details of injuries and the nature of the assault", Mr Stamper said. "It just feels like we can't stop having vigils; it happens too much".

The vigil is one of many Ms Pickering's organised for assaulted and murdered women in Melbourne including Eurydice Dixon, Masa Vukotic and Jill Meagher.

"Every woman in Australia, every person in Australia, should be able to travel home in safety", he told reporters.

"It's like something from a horror movie", she said.

The Victoria Police assistant commissioner Bob Hill told 3AW that patrols had been increased. "The likelihood of you being a victim is very remote".

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