– With AAP
A 19-year-old man has been charged with rape and murder after a woman’s body was found on a soccer field in Melbourne’s inner north the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The Broadmeadows man was arrested on Wednesday night and will front Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
Police on Wedneday announced the discovery of the yet-to-be publicly identified woman’s body at Princes Park in Carlton North, just a few kilometres north of Melbourne’s CBD.
Emergency services were called to a field shortly before 3am after a passerby raised the alarm.
Paramedics worked on the woman, believed to be aged in her 20s, but she was not able to be revived.
On Wednesday evening, police released CCTV images of a man wanted for questioning in relation to the death.
Police are investigating whether there is any link to a sexual assault on a 21-year-old woman that occurred nearby in Parkville about 2.35am on March 28.
“We don’t know if they’re linked at this stage,” he told reporters.
In announcing the 19-year-old man’s arrest, police made no mention of the Parkville sexual assault.
At the Princes Park soccer pitch, officers and SES workers on Wednesday conducted a line search. It is opposite Melbourne’s general cemetery and close to AFL club Carlton’s home ground as well as the University of Melbourne and student accommodation.
The field is also bordered by popular running tracks, with a number of joggers told by police to take a detour upon approaching the crime scene.
A pair of black shoes were seen near a police tent that was erected on the field, which was completely cordoned off by police tape.