A man has been arrested over the brutal murder of Melbourne student Aiia Masarwe.


A man has been arrested over the brutal murder of international student Aiia Masarwe in Melbourne.

The 20-year-old was arrested on Friday morning at Greensborough, a northern suburb nearby where the young woman’s body was found earlier this week.

“Homicide Squad detectives have arrested a man as part of the ongoing investigation into the death of Aiia Maasarwe,” police confirmed in a brief statement.

Mamamia has contacted Victoria police for further comment.

Aiia Masarwe, an Arab-Israeli student who had been in Australia for just six months on a study abroad program, was found dead on Wednesday morning just a few hundred metres from the Polaris shopping centre.  Police believe she had been travelling home from Docklands when she was attacked.

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.”

Her father has left Israel for Melbourne in a bid to coordinate her body’s return home, Mr Katane told the newspaper.

On Thursday, the Department of Foreign Affairs told AAP: “This is a matter for Victoria Police and the Embassy of Israel.”

Officers are expected to further canvass nearby residents on Thursday to determine how Ms Masarwe died and what led to her body being left near the tram stop.

“We would ask for anyone that may have dashcam footage, CCTV or may have seen anything here that could be a small piece in the jigsaw puzzle to contact Crimestoppers,” Insp Stamper said.

Detectives are keen to speak to anyone who travelled on the route 86 tram, particularly between 11pm on Tuesday and 1am on Wednesday.

Police are investigating all lines of inquiry, including whether the attack was random and if Ms Masarwe was followed.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos says there will be an increased police presence in Bundoora to reassure the community as the investigation is under way.

“It is a terrible tragedy, what has occurred,” she told reporters.

“That is a part of my own electorate and I know that tram line very well.

“As a government, we will do whatever is required to support this woman’s family and friends and I extend my sympathy to her family and friends at this terrible, terrible time.”

More to come.