— With AAP.
A young woman who was killed after alighting a Melbourne tram was ambushed as she was chatting to her sister on a video call.
Aiia Masarwe, who has been in Australia for just six months on a study abroad program, was travelling home from Docklands when she was attacked.
The 21-year-old Arab-Israeli student was found dead on Wednesday morning just a few hundred metres from the Polaris shopping centre.
Aiia’s uncle, Rame Masarwe, has told media that Aiia was speaking to her younger sister on a video call when she suddenly dropped her phone.
“Her sister was on the phone with her, she was on Facetime, and she heard what happened,” Rame said.
“The phone had fallen down, but she heard the voices over the phone.”
After Aiia dropped the phone, her younger sister frantically tried to contact Australian police from overseas.
“We were pretty certain that she was actually involved in a conversation with her sister, who is overseas, at the time that the attack actually took place,” detective inspector Andrew Stamper told reporters.
“The contact that we got [from Aiia’s sister] was at about 7am in the morning, which coincidentally was pretty much at exactly the same time as the deceased was located,” he continued.
“This was an horrendous, horrific attack inflicted on a completely innocent young woman who was a visitor to our city.”
Did you see this woman in Melbourne/on the 86 tram on Tuesday night? Police have released CCTV of Aya Masarwe in the hope of catching her killer. If you recognise her, call @CrimeStopperVic pic.twitter.com/sqlmOXifAd
— Calla Wahlquist (@callapilla) January 17, 2019
Aiia’s uncle told media he heard of his niece’s death through a phone call from a relative.