1. How one police officer’s memory caught Aiia Maasarwe’s alleged killer.
The arrest of Aiia Maasarwe’s alleged killer may have taken longer, if it weren’t for the good memory of a local police officer.
Murder suspect Codey Herrmann was arrested two days after the Palestinian student with Israeli citizenship’s death, which according to an exclusive article by The Age, was due to a police officer stationed at Heidelberg recognising a distinctive ‘1986’ cap and two-tone grey t-shirt dumped outside the shopping centre where Maasarwe’s body was found.
The local police officer remembered stopping Herrmann four days earlier while he was wearing the same clothing.
Herrmann was on bail for minor offences.
Under proposed legislation that stalled in Victoria’s upper house before the state’s November election, Herrmann’s DNA would have been taken during his previous arrest, speeding up the process of his arrest as it would have immediately matched DNA found at the crime scene.
A spokesman for the Victorian government told The Age the legislation would be reintroduced when Parliament returns in February.
The Victorian coroner is expected to release the body of international student Aiia Maasarwe on Monday.
Maasarwe’s body is expected to be given to a funeral director for repatriation.
Her father, Saeed Maasarwe, had asked for his daughter’s body to be released so he could lay her to rest.
“(To) take her home for a proper burial and funeral,” he told The Age on Sunday while he attended a tribute in her honour.
About 1000 people gathered outside a mosque in Israel on Saturday calling for her return, chanting “we need Aiia home” and “we are all Aiia’s sisters, Aiia is the daughter of all of us”.
Her sister Noor Maasarwe had been watching the news when she realised her sister had been found dead in Melbourne.
“They didn’t say for who it was,” she told Nine News on Sunday from Israel.
“But it matches all the details. It was on the same road. Everything. I was just praying that it’s not her. Then I saw the shoes and her phone … I was sure it was her.”
Maasarwe alighted a tram in Bundoora moments before she was attacked.
Her body was found near a shopping centre about 7am on January 16.