‘Friend’ charged as woman’s body found
AN ALLEGED childhood friend of coach driver Tamara Farrell has been charged with murder after human remains identified as Ms Farrell's were found 300km from her home in rural Victoria.
Ms Farrell, 31, a Ballarat Coachlines airport charter driver, had only just moved into a new rental property at Canadian, a Ballarat suburb in regional Victoria two weeks ago.
On Tuesday night, Victoria Police arrested and charged Shaye Kotiau, 22, with murder and also charged a 19-year-old girl with being an accessory after the fact.
Police arrested Mr Kotiau at Altona in western Melbourne, and later searched a Canadian property before finding human remains at Nambrok, near Sale, 300km east of Ballarat.
The Herald Sun reported Mr Kotiau is believed to have known Ms Farrell since childhood and that their mothers were long-time friends.
Mr Kotiau appeared in Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Tuesday night as his lawyer said the accused was "mentally unwell" and needed urgent medical attention.
Over the last few weeks on Facebook, Tamara Farrell has posted about male violence towards women, rape and self defence.
On February 2, she posted about the violent deaths of woman including Palestinian student Aya Maarsawe and wrote, "Already, there's been 4 women killed and we're only a month into the new year."
Mr Kotiau was remanded in custody and is due to face court again on Wednesday.
Friends of Ms Farrell's posted on Facebook about the "lovely" woman who they struggled to understand why anyone would kill.
Ballarat Coachlines, said the company was devastated.
"Tamara was an excellent employee who was always friendly and hardworking," a statement from the company said.
"We are all in shock and grief at losing a valued colleague and friend."
Forensic police searched the Altona property where Mr Kotiau was arrested, taking away bags of evidence, as well as scouring the property at Canadian where Ms Farrell had briefly lived.