Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe who was killed in Melbourne. Picture: Instagram
Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe who was killed in Melbourne. Picture: Instagram

One thing that led to Aiia breakthrough

OLDfashioned police work led to the arrest of Aiia Maasarwe's alleged murderer, in a case that could have been solved even quicker with DNA testing.

But a stall in legislation in Victoria, which is behind other states in enacting the law, meant police did not have DNA from aspiring rapper Codey Herrmann's previous arrests.

If they had, officers could have potentially found an immediate match with DNA collected from clothing at the crime scene.

Instead, a local leading senior constable recognised the grey T-shirt and a hat with 1986 on it and remembered Mr Herrmann had been wearing the same items four days earlier when he stopped him.

Mr Herrmann had been on bail for minor offences and police were able to track him down within an hour, charging him with the international student's alleged rape and murder.

While officers have reportedly praised the quick-thinking action, according to The Age, Victoria's outdated laws where police would no longer need court approval to get DNA samples were supposed to go through parliament last year.

International student Aiia Maasarwe who was killed in Melbourne. Picture: Instagram
International student Aiia Maasarwe who was killed in Melbourne. Picture: Instagram

There are more than 55,000 crime scene DNA profiles held by police that do not match any person's profile.

It comes as the Victorian coroner is expected to release the 21-year-old's body today.

Her father, Saeed Maasarwe, had asked for his daughter's body to be released so he could lay her to rest.

He was among hundreds of mourners at a tribute held on Sunday.

The day before about 1000 people gathered outside a mosque in Israel calling for her return, chanting "we need Aiia home" and "we are all Aiia's sisters, Aiia is the daughter of all of us".

"The Land Wants Aiia Back," read some of the placards, while others called for an end to violence against women across the globe.

 

Aiia’s father Saeed Maasarwe at the vigil on Sunday. Picture: James Ross/AAP
Aiia’s father Saeed Maasarwe at the vigil on Sunday. Picture: James Ross/AAP

Her sisters also revealed chilling new details about her death including sounds of "screaming and screaming" as Aiia was apparently attacked.

Aiia's sister Ruba spoke further of the disturbing FaceTime phone call the two were having when Aiia dropped the phone and Ruba never heard from her again.

Hours later, about 7am Melbourne time last Wednesday, a passer-by found Aiia's half-naked body near the Polaris Shopping Centre in the northern Melbourne suburb of Bundoora.

Ruba Maasarwe recalled Aiia's final late-night safety call during an interview on Israeli TV station Channel 13.

"We spoke on the phone on FaceTime," Ruba said.

We spoke about the stand-up comedy she saw and when we would next meet.

"Suddenly I heard her scream.

"I heard vehicles in the background of the call like there was a phone on the floor.

"There was no sign during the conversation of the horror about to happen.

"I heard her screaming and screaming and then the call was cut off.'"

 

Aspiring rapper Codey Herrmann appeared in court over the weekend charged with rape and murder. Picture: David Caird
Aspiring rapper Codey Herrmann appeared in court over the weekend charged with rape and murder. Picture: David Caird

Her other sister Noor Maasarwe had been watching the news in Israel when she suspected the young woman found dead was Aiia.

Herrmann, 20, is due to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court again today after being remanded in custody over the weekend.

Police have said Aiia, a Palestinian citizen of Israel living and studying in Melbourne, died of head injuries and had suffered blunt-force trauma.

They now believe the alleged attack was random and the young woman was not stalked or followed home on the tram from where she had been attending the comedy show in Melbourne's CBD, back to Bundoora where she was staying.

The Sunday Herald Sun reported certain details of the rape were so gruesome police asked that they be removed from court documents.

Leading Sen-Constable Craig Williams told the court: "I don't think it would be appropriate that be released.

"Some of the specific words in there aren't known to the family.''

 

Mourners gather at the vigil. Picture: Stuart McEvoy/The Australian.
Mourners gather at the vigil. Picture: Stuart McEvoy/The Australian.


Free TAFE pledge made by NSW Labor

Free TAFE pledge made by NSW Labor

Prue Car said Labor's plan would help people find jobs

Samsung S10 5G: regional Aussies will be among first

Samsung S10 5G: regional Aussies will be among first

5G network will offer speeds up to 20 times faster than 4G

Tweed residents urged to prepare as Cyclone Oma approaches

Tweed residents urged to prepare as Cyclone Oma approaches

Locations affected include Tweed Heads, Hastings Point and Yamba.