A young woman has been found dead outside a Melbourne shopping centre.

She has been identified as an Israeli student studying in Australia.

Aya Masarwe’s (believed to be in her early 20s) partially naked body was found by window washers in scrub outside the Polaris shopping centre on Main Drive near Plenty Road in the Melbourne suburb of Bundoora at 7am on Wednesday.

Her family confirmed the tragic news to Daily Mail Australia on Thursday morning.

According to Israeli reports, she previously lived in China and was studying in Australia on a scholarship.

Homicide detectives suspect Ms Masarwe may have been stalked after getting off the Route 86 tram – which runs from Docklands to Bundoora – some time after 11pm on Tuesday.

Ms Masarwe had been to a comedy show on Tuesday night and was speaking to her sister via FaceTime on her way home.

During a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said it was apparent the women had been assaulted.

Detective Inspector Stamper said the 21-year-old may have been followed as she boarded the 86 tram from the city around 11pm on Tuesday.

CCTV is expected to become the main focus of the investigation as police work to piece together the victim’s final movements.

‘We really need the community’s assistance with this. We would ask for anyone that may have dashcam footage, CCTV, may have seen anything here, anything that could be a small piece in the jigsaw puzzle to contact Crime Stoppers,’ he said.

He has urged anyone with information to come forward.

‘Anyone that may have been passing through this intersection, dash cam footage, or may have just seen something they think might help, call us.’

Ms Masarwe’s father was on his way to Australia to formally identify his daughter’s body, and was in contact with the Israeli Embassy in Canberra, which would help arrange for her body to be sent to Israel for burial.

Our thoughts are with the family.

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How is this OK? Why can’t women just feel safe?

Share your comments below


  • They caught the maggot that did this. He’s only 20 so I hope they lock him up for life. Can’t have him out in society.

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  • such a tragic death. I hope her family have lots of support.

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  • I’m glad you mentioned men too. I know of one who has attacked walking home from work after getting off a bus just as it started to get dark.

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  • This is so horrific. It’s not far from where I live. I hate that we haven’t been told the full story. Good on Derryn Hinch for sharing what he knows via Twitter.

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  • RIP to her, may her family find their own peace and may that prick rot in hell

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  • Such a horrific act – I’m sure the man involved will be caught and charged quite quickly – but that doesn’t help the family or this poor young beautiful woman. What has Australia come to? Seems like Melbourne now is worse than Chicago in the 1920’s.

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  • It looks like a man was charged for this.

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  • This is so sad. I hope they find the soulless individual that did this!

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  • A saddening story. Why can’t a woman just feel safe indeed ?!
    I hope and pray all details and truth in regards to this incident come out

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  • Exactly right, why can’t women have a night out and not be attacked or stalked. Disgusting behaviour

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  • It makes me sick to my stomach and so so sad that people can’t just go out and have a good time without having to fear for their lives. Its especially tragic that her sister was face timing her at the time and heard it all going on, that will haunt her forever and she wold be feeling so helpless. I hope the killer is found soon and punished severely for this. RIP beautiful girl

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  • Terrible thing to happen to this lovely girl. Hope they find the killer soon.

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  • This is so sad. People of either gender should be safe to walk home etc without being attacked.

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  • Really sad – it’s not like she was doing anything even vaguely risky, either! At least, it shouldn’t have been risky.

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  • Very sad to have a life taken so young,hoping they will catch who is responsible.

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